Design Multi-Modal Interaction Techniques for Flying Drone

MPhil Thesis Defence

Title: "Design Multi-Modal Interaction Techniques for Flying Drone"


Mr. Yui Pan YAU


Flying drones have become common objects in our daily lives, serving a 
multitude of purposes. Many of these purposes involve outdoor scenarios 
where the user combines drone control with another activity. Traditional 
interaction methods rely on physical or virtual joysticks that occupy both 
hands, thus restricting drone usability.

In this thesis, we investigate the feasibility and usability of a minimal 
and subtle human-to-drone interaction.  We designed a one-handed 
human-to-drone-interaction method leveraging three modalities: force, 
touch, and IMU. After prototyping three different combinations of these 
modalities on a smartphone, we evaluate them against the current 
commercial standard through two user experiments. These experiments help 
us to find the combination of modalities that strikes a compromise between 
user performance, perceived task load, wrist rotation, and interaction 
area size. Accordingly, we select a method that achieves faster task 
completion times than the two-handed commercial baseline by 16.54% with 
the merits of subtle user behaviors inside a small-size ring-form device 
and implements this method within the ring-form device.

The last experiment involving 12 participants shows that the ring device 
demonstrates better performance due to its small size and weight than the 
same method implemented on a mobile phone. Furthermore, users unanimously 
found the device more helpful in controlling a drone on mobile.

Our findings give significant design clues searching for subtle and 
effective interaction through finger augmentation devices with drone 
control The users with our prototypical system and a multi-modal on-finger 
device can control a drone with subtle wrist rotation (pitch and roll 
gestures) and unnoticeable thumb presses within a miniature-sized area.

Date:  			Tuesday, 13 July 2021

Time:			2:00pm - 4:00pm

Zoom meeting:

Committee Members:	Dr. Pan Hui (Supervisor)
 			Prof. Andrew Horner (Chairperson)
 			Dr. Xiaojuan Ma

**** ALL are Welcome ****