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Advances in Human-Computer Interaction
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 768180, 15 pages
Research Article

Collaborative Exploration with a Micro Aerial Vehicle: A Novel Interaction Method for Controlling a MAV with a Hand-Held Device

Humans and Automation Lab, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA

Received 19 April 2012; Accepted 18 June 2012

Academic Editor: Kerstin S. Eklundh

Copyright © 2012 David Pitman and Mary L. Cummings. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


In order to collaboratively explore an environment with a Micro Aerial Vehicle (MAV), an operator needs a mobile interface, which can support the operator’s divided attention. To this end, we developed the Micro Aerial Vehicle Exploration of an Unknown Environment (MAV-VUE) interface, which allows operators with minimal training the ability to remotely explore their environment with a MAV. MAV-VUE employs a concept we term Perceived First-Order (PFO) control, which allows an operator to effectively “fly” a MAV with no risk to the vehicle. PFO control utilizes a position feedback control loop to fly the MAV while presenting rate feedback to the operator. A usability study was conducted to evaluate MAV-VUE. This interface was connected remotely to an actual MAV to explore a GPS-simulated urban environment.