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Real-Reality Interface Created with Drones


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The current push for virtual reality systems seems only natural, given the growing capabilities of computers and the desire to become immersed in other worlds, so it is also natural to try to make virtual reality real. To that end, researchers at Queen's University have developed the BitDrones system to allow people to physically interact with virtual objects.

The system uses three kinds of BitDrones that are tracked via reflective markers, so they can be correctly placed in the air. The PixelDrones possess an LED and small dot matrix display while the ShapeDrones have a light-weight mesh around them, giving them a specific shape, and the DisplayDrones carry a curved touchscreen, camera, and Android smartphone board. Together with the motion tracking system, the BitDrones are able to act as an interface for virtual objects, like folders on a computer. When you open a folder, the PixelDrones will form a wheel that you can spin to advance through the contents. With the ShapeDrones virtual structures can be represented and manipulated while the DisplayDrones can be used for Skype calls and will even replicate the caller's motions.

The current system supports dozens of drones, and the BitDrones are about two-and-a-half inches to five inches in size, but the researchers envision shrinking the drones down to half-an-inch and scaling the system up to support thousands of them. On these scales, BitDrones could potentially render high resolution programmable matter for its users.



Source: Queen's University

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