Flying Eyes/Flying Head

Telepresence that simulates an out-of-body experience

Flying Eyes:Flying HeadFlying Eyes is a system currently under development that uses an autonomous quadcopter to perform aerial camerawork with unlimited freedom of viewpoint. Using a small quadcopter as a filming platform makes it simpler to create video content without running into spatial constraints on shooting.

Flying Eyes consists of a computer-controlled quadcopter, an automatic camera control system, and a user interface for directing camerawork. The quadcopter monitors the spatial relationship between itself and the subject. It tracks the subject, with computer flight control automatically calculating each camera pass based on general instructions from the operator. One possibility for Flying Eyes is that it could serve as a sort of flying sports assistant, for example enabling runners to watch their form from behind as they run.

Flying Head is a telepresence system currently under development under which an operator can control an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) through his physical movements. UAVs are teleoperated robots that are finding a wider and wider range of applications, from disaster area inspection to filming movies. Until now most UAVs were operated using R/C controllers with porportional control systems or joysticks, but the necessity to work multiple levers and buttons necessitates long training to achieve precise flying.

The Flying Head project instead makes of use of body movements such as walking and crouching as UAV control inputs. By using body movements, it is possible to control multiple motion parameters in parallel—forward and back, left and right, rotation. This research offers new forms of interaction between people and machines, such as constantly being able to see behind you, or having telepresence/teleoperation at a remote site.

Flying Eyes is a joint project with the Rekimoto Lab at the Tokyo University.