Now, drone can be your avatar. Researchers at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology’s (KAIST) human-drone interaction lab have designed avatar drone, a flyable humanoid for telepresence.
Avatar drone, technically a convergence of telepresence robot and drone makes a distant operator to have a virtual trip to the wanted place. When landed, the drone stands upright to 140cm tall to somewhat match the eyelevel of local users, and it can act with two hands and head as if a distant operator exists in person. Manipulator equipped drones start to enter into the market, but it is the first trial to couple a telepresence robot in upright position and drone platform into one body.
Installing a robot body on drone usually threatens the weight balance of drone. Avatar drone is designed for a robot body on drone to be lowered by gravity, and it achieved enough stability during flight. Researchers at KAIST plan to utilize avatar drone as a flyable avatar of handicapped and elderly people.