Communicating directionality in flying robots (Inproceedings)

Szafir, D., B. Mutlu, and T. Fong. “Communicating Directionality in Flying Robots”. Proceedings of the Tenth Annual ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction, ACM, 2015, pp. 19-26.


Small flying robots represent a rapidly emerging family of robotic technologies with aerial capabilities that enable unique forms of assistance in a variety of collaborative tasks. Such tasks will necessitate interaction with humans in close proximity, requiring that designers consider human perceptions regarding robots flying and acting within human environments. We explore the design space regarding explicit robot communication of flight intentions to nearby viewers. We apply design constraints to robot flight behaviors, using biological and airplane flight as inspiration, and develop a set of signaling mechanisms for visually communicating directionality while operating under such constraints. We implement our designs on two commercial flyers, requiring little modification to the base platforms, and evaluate each signaling mechanism, as well as a no-signaling baseline, in a user study in which participants were asked to predict robot intent. We found that three of our designs significantly improved viewer response time and accuracy over the baseline and that the form of the signal offered tradeoffs in precision, generalizability, and perceived robot usability.

DOI: 10.1145/2696454.2696475


	doi = {10.1145/2696454.2696475},
	url = {},
	year = 2015,
	month = {mar},
	publisher = {{ACM}},
	author = {Daniel Szafir and Bilge Mutlu and Terry Fong},
	title = {Communicating Directionality in Flying Robots},
	booktitle = {Proceedings of the Tenth Annual {ACM}/{IEEE} International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction}