It's all in the eyes: Drone controlled through AR tested in hostage simulation in Russia (VIDEO)
Russian scientists have tested a quadcopter operated through an augmented reality (AR) helmet. The technology enables the user to be in control of the drone with eye movement only, freeing the operator’s hands to carry a weapon.
With the AR helmet on, the drone operator can see both footage from the drone and images from the camera mounted on top of the helmet. The flying device can be operated and navigated with the eyes only, while at the same time being in control of the situation around.
"Eight different commands are available, as well as additional one that allows the user to switch between the drone and the external helmet camera. The user can see what's in front and also see an image streamed from the drone," head engineer at a medical kinetics lab of the Voronezh State University, Aleksandr Alekseev told RT's Ruptly agency.
This week, the quadcopter was trialed in Voronezh in a simulated hostage situation. Spotting the ‘terrorist’ with his victim, and with the drone flying outside the building, the rescuer, with arms freed to hold weapons, was able to unexpectedly appear and deal with the situation, aiming directly at the unsuspecting offender.
The technology "would be very useful for special operations" by the military, a member of the Russian Special Forces (Spetsnaz) told Ruptly. "It allows the user to keep weapon in hands and always be ready for a fight. One can also survey the area, peer into windows and maintain situation awareness," he explained. "Controlling the drone isn't that difficult, but you need to get used to it. However, that doesn't take too much time," he added.