Drone Control in AR: An Intuitive System for Single-Handed Gesture Control, Drone Tracking, and Contextualized Camera Feed Visualization in Augmented Reality

K. Konstantoudakis
K. Christaki
D. Tsiakmakis
D. Sainidis
G. Albanis
A. Dimou
P. Daras
Drones, vol. 6, no. 2, 2022


Traditional drone handheld remote controllers, although well-established and widely used, are not a particularly intuitive control method. At the same time, drone pilots normally watch the drone video feed on a smartphone or another small screen attached to the remote. This forces them to constantly shift their visual focus from the drone to the screen and vice-versa. This can be an eye-and-mind-tiring and stressful experience, as the eyes constantly change focus and the mind struggles to merge two different points of view. This paper presents a solution based on Microsoft's HoloLens 2 headset that leverages augmented reality and gesture recognition to make drone piloting easier, more comfortable, and more intuitive. It describes a system for single-handed gesture control that can achieve all maneuvers possible with a traditional remote, including complex motions; a method for tracking a real drone in AR to improve flying beyond line of sight or at distances where the physical drone is hard to see; and the option to display the drone's live video feed in AR, either in first-person-view mode or in context with the environment.