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Abstract

Most human–drone interfaces, such as joysticks and remote controllers, require attention and developed skills during teleoperation. Wearable interfaces could enable a more natural and intuitive control of drones, which would make this technology accessible to a larger population of users. In this letter, we describe a soft exoskeleton, so called FlyJacket, designed for na¨ıve users that want to control a drone with upper body gestures in an intuitive manner. The exoskeleton includes a motion-tracking device to monitor body movements, an arm support system to prevent fatigue, and is coupled to goggles for first-person-view from the drone perspective. Tests were performed with participants flying a simulated fixed-wing drone moving at a constant speed; participants’ performance was more consistent when using the FlyJacket with the arm support than when performing the same task with a remote controller. Furthermore, participants felt more immersed, had more sensation of flying, and reported less fatigue when the arm support was enabled. The FlyJacket has been demonstrated for the teleoperation of a real drone.

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