Giving Drones Human Emotions??

Right now in New Zealand, a conference is being held for the field of HRI (Human-Robot Interaction).  This field of research mostly focuses on the interactions between humans and social robots such as ones you’d see in a home vacuuming a floor or educational toys for children. However, for a growing number of adventure seeking adults, this also includes interactions with RC aircraft commonly referred to as Drones.

For that group, there has been an exciting paper released at the HRI conference on “Emotion Encoding in Human-Drone Interaction”. Essentially, this means how you could program a drone to have a recognizable personality.

You might be asking yourself, “why do I care if my drone can express emotions or not?” Think about how much communicating you do with your body langauge every day. Think about how much you are able to communicate to others without ever saying a word. Now imagine that your aircraft could be programmed with personality that could communicate to you without ever taking your eyes off your aircraft.

Your drone could communicate tiredness by moving sluggishly when it needs a charge, confused when you give it a command it doesn’t recognize or even fear if you were to try to fly it outside of the range of its controller. Each of these scenarios could be expressed to the pilot through movements, or “emotional” interactions.


Image: Stanford University
Example of how three emotional states could be reflected by flight paths.

Although the test that was conducted for the paper released at HRI 2016 has promising benefits for the future of RC pilots and their pet-like aircraft, the real life deployment may not be quite ready for mainstream release.

However, becoming an RC aircraft pilot is both mainstream AND affordable!

Ways to get becoming an RC pilot today: 

All Levels: Learn to fly and save money on every crash by
    –    -    -   ->   Get Your Simulator

Buy & Fly: Get a plane with everything you need to take to fly
    –    -    -   ->  Get Your Ready To Fly (RTF) Aircraft

Beginning Builders: Work your way up to becoming a master builder
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Masters Builders: You already know what you want and how to assemble it.
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Source: You can learn more about the types of personalities tested and greater detail of the study at the full length article released by HRI 2016 sponsor,

This study that was presented by Jessica R. Cauchard, Kevin Y. Zhai, Marco Spadafora & James A Landay at HRI 2016 in Christchurch, New Zealand.

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