(Screenshot by Michelle Starr/CNET Australia)
A Berlin-based engineer has created a way to pilot a camera-mounted Parrot AR quadcopter just by moving his head in the direction he wants it to go.
We've seen the, with the video feed from the mounted camera displaying on the headset's screen — but the pilot had to use a controller to direct the drone's movements.
Berlin-based engineer Diego Araos has now made the process hands-free — by using the Oculus Rift's tracking system.
Like Intuitive Aerial's project, the drone — a Parrot AR 2.0 — is mounted with a camera, with the feed going into the Rift's HUD. A small icon on the bottom of the display shows the drone with a green circle indicating the head's movement.
The pilot doesn't have to move their head very much at all in order to steer the drone, and, as Araos reports on YouTube, latency is very low. It was a weekend project that split off from a project attempting to control multiple drones from within a single network.
"I connected the AR Drone to my laptop using node.js (node-ar-drone to control & node-livestream for video feed)," he explained to Gizmodo. "As for the client-side is a HTML5 web-interface that process the video feed using two canvas elements, it also connects to a REST server that reads the information of the head-motion sensors from the Oculus Rift and then computes the joystick, which are sent back to the node.js server and commanded to the drone to control pitch/roll/yaw."
If you want to give it a try for yourself, the open source code is available on GitHub, but Araos cautions that the code may be a little buggy since he wrote it in a weekend. Proceed with caution.