Single-handed Gesture UAV Control for First Responders – A Usability and Performance User Study
Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) have increased in popularity in recent years and are now involved in many activities, professional and otherwise. First responders, those teams and individuals who are the first to respond in crisis situations, have been using UAVs to assist them in locating victims and identifying hazards without endangering human personnel needlessly. However, professional UAV controllers tend to be heavy and cumbersome, requiring both hands to operate. First responders, on the other hand, often need to carry other important equipment and need to keep their hands free during a mission. This work considers enabling first responders to control UAVs with single-handed gestures, freeing their other hand and reducing their encumbrance. Two sets of gesture UAV controls are presented and implemented in a simulated environment, and a two-part user study is conducted: the first part assesses the comfort of each gesture and their intuitive association with basic flight control concepts; and the second evaluates two different modes of gesture control in a population of users including both genders, and first responders as well as members of the general populace. The results, consisting of both objective and subjective measurements, are discussed, hindrances and problems are identified, and directions of future work and research are mapped out.