University of Twente Student Theses


Design and characterization of a vibrotactile haptic feedback system for drone operators

Paun, Stefan (2018) Design and characterization of a vibrotactile haptic feedback system for drone operators.

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Abstract:With a shift in focus from military to commercial applications, unmanned aircraft vehicles, known as drones have become more widespread. This leads to safety concerns regarding drones and potential incidents. Since a drone is a teleoperated system, in which the operator is physically separated from the environment, the user relies on feedback from the drone, usually only in the form of visual feedback. The control of the drone and the safety factor associated can be improved by providing haptic feedback, as demonstrated by previous research. The aim of this research is to design a system capable of providing haptic feedback to the drone operator and characterize the effects of the haptic cues. This research focuses on haptic displays providing cutaneous cues to the users. A vibrotactile vest is used to transmit additional information about the behaviour of the drone to the operator. The drone is simulated in a virtual environment and a test setup has been made in order to investigate the effect of haptic feedback. A user study, in which the participants had to fly the drone in a virtual environment, is performed in order to compare the performance of flight with and without the vibrotactile cues. The results of the user test are promising and show potential benefits for haptic feedback operation, despite not having a statistical significance. A majority of users have reported that the vest and the information encoded enabled them to have a better understanding of the drone behaviour and prefer this mode of teleoperation opposed to the mode where only visual feedback is provided. It can be concluded that haptic feedback has positive effects on drone operators with previous drone flying experience. The findings of this research have the potential to serve as a basis for future research in the area of haptic feedback and drone teleoperation.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:EEMCS: Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science
Subject:01 general works
Programme:Advanced Technology BSc (50002)
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