Emerging Technologies

Above Your Hand: Direct and Natural Interaction With an Aerial Robot

Above Your Hand is a new application of a quadcopter that follows hand directions with two onboard cameras. The system is unique, because it does not require external devices such as controllers or motion tracking. All the processing is executed within the onboard computer. You and the quadcopter can freely walk around without worrying about external-camera views or wifi networks.

The quadcopter is suitable for indoor spaces. It measures 12 centimeters from motor to motor, and it weighs 70 grams. Its interaction design is simple, so it is easy for multiple people to simultaneously enjoy a new sense of interacting with aerial objects. The software system is custom Linux. OpenCV delivers hand tracking. Without hand signals, the quadcopter detects and analyzes important features of its current surroundings and hovers in a safe place. There is no need to prepare particular markers. Anything can be landmarks for the robot. This autonomy is essential for smooth human-robot interaction.

In this demonstration, attendees only have to wear a special glove of a particular color. There is no need to wait in line to experience Above Your Hand. Multiple users are invited to join the interaction.

Above Your Hand is the world's first successful combination of small size and full autonomy in an aerial robot. It delivers a truly direct and natural interaction between humans and aerial robots. The technology can be adapted to many applications, such as interactive navigation systems, advertising, and entertainment.

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Kensho Miyoshi
The University of Tokyo

Ryo Konomura
The University of Tokyo

Koichi Hori
The University of Tokyo