Taiwanese Scientists Pilot a Drone Using an Apple Watch

Taiwanese Scientists Pilot a Drone Using an Apple Watch
Taiwanese Scientists Pilot a Drone Using an Apple Watch

The Star Wars fantasy of controlling things with your hands is no longer a science fiction, but a reality thanks to researchers at PVD+ in Taiwan who have created a technology that can pilot drones and manipulate lights using hand gestures.

PVD+, founded in 2013 and led by Mark Ven, a civil engineering PHD student at the National Chung Hsing University along with a professor there, Yang Ming-der, and three other group members, calls the software Dong coding. After 18 months of research and application, the PVD+ team now say they can install the algorithm on any device and give it the ability to control directions.

Ven demonstrated how his hand could fly a Parrot AR Drone 3.0 with the Apple Watch detecting his gestures and sending signals to the drone.

“Previously we’ve needed complicated controls to fly drones, but now we can use a wearable device, and through human behavior and gestures directly interact with them – using a hand to control and fly drones directly,” he told Reuters. “We can also control a ball, like that in Star Wars’ BB-8 droid, using a wearable device as well.”

Ven and his team also demonstrated controlling lighting using Apple Watch for gesture detection.

“When I clap twice the light turns on, as it detects that I’m clapping. When I write an English ‘R’ in the air the red light turns on, and when I write an English ‘Y’ the yellow light turns on. Lastly, when I clap twice the light turns off,” Ven said. “During this process we are communicating and interacting on the Human Computer Interface by using the internet of things, and the wearable device.”


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