Human Robot Interaction

GridDrones: drone swarms as a physical and spatial display platform


GridDrones is a system that uses swarms of drones to represent physical objects in a room-sized setting. This is built upon the BitDrones system, which is an interactive multi-drone platform for developing 3D tangible user interface applications - an initial step towards interactive self-levitating programmable matter. BitDrones presents a unique contribution using voxels that are self-levitating and completely controllable in 3D using direct user interactions.

Each current generation BitDrone comprises a 3D printed wireframe cube with RGB LEDs mounted on a nano-quadcopter that enables self-levitation. The BitDrones system provides intuitive, direct control, allowing users to manipulate the system in the same way as they would interact with a physical object. Direct interactions are available simply by grasping and moving the BitDrones (e.g., Touch & Drag). BitDrones beyond direct reach are controlled through a series of one or two handed gestural interactions (e.g., Point & Click). Advanced functions can be performed on selected BitDrones using the multifunction wand.

BitDrones can also be operated in application-guided scenarios. Existing applications include a 3D Canvas, a tangible Grid, animation recording and playback, and an embodied controller designed to operate as Flying LEGO Bricks