Remotely Controlled Flying Aided by a Head-Slaved Camera and HMD.
HUMAN FACTORS RESEARCH INST TNO SOESTERBERG (NETHERLANDS)
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Military use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles UAVs is gaining importance. Video cameras in these devices are often operated with joysticks and their image is displayed on a CRT. In this experiment, the simulated camera of a simulated UAV was slaved to the operators head movements and displayed using a Helmet Mounted Display HMD. The task involved manoeuvring a UAV along a winding course marked by trees. The influence of several parameters of the set up HMD optics, Field of View FOV, image lag, monocular vs. stereoscopic presentation on a set of flight handling characteristics was assessed. To enable variation of FOV and to study the effect of the HMD optics, a simulated HMD image consisting of a head slaved window with variable FOV, was projected on a screen. One of the FOVs, generated in this way, corresponded with the FOV of the real HMD, enabling a comparison. The results show that the simulated HMD yields a significantly better performance than the real HMD. Performance with a FOV of 17 deg is significantly lower than with 34 or 57 deg. An image lag of 50 ms, typical of pan and tilt servo motor systems, has a small but significant influence on steering accuracy. Monocular and stereoscopic presentation did not result in significant performance differences.