Roboticists at Simon Fraser University are working on new ways to control drones in its 'Ready-Aim-Fly project.' The project has researchers looking at the potential use of facial expressions in controlling and piloting drones. The project name separates the three phases required for drones to achieve successful flight. The 'ready' phase has the drone learning the users face by asking them to hold a neutral expression. The 'aim' phase involves the drone taking flight, but ensuring that the drone keeps the user centered int he camera view. The 'fly' phase is the final step and sees the drone performed its programmed trajectory, with adjustments being made based on users facial expressions.
Project Ready-Aim-Fly is still in early development, with early tests showing the drone's capability to fly out in a straight line and return. Richard Vaughn, one of the researchers involved in the project, has stated that the current test is impressive, but still small scale. The next step will be having the drone fly greater distances and to perform more complicated tasks, but in order to accomplish this the facial recognition software must first be improved.