Drones are increasingly used to support humanitarian crises and events that involve dangerous or costly tasks. While drones have great potential for remote collaborative work and aerial telepresence, existing drone technology is limited in its support for synchronous collaboration among multiple remote users. Through three design iterations and evaluations, we prototyped Squadrone, a novel aerial telepresence platform that supports synchronous mid-air collaboration among multiple remote users. We present our design and report results from evaluating our iterations with 13 participants in 3 different collaboration configurations. Our first design iteration validates the basic functionality of the platform. Then, we establish the effectiveness of collaboration using a 360-degree shared aerial display. Finally, we simulate a type of search task in an open environment to see if collaborative telepresence impacts members’ participation. The results validate some initial goals for Squadrone and are used to reflect back on a recent telepresence design framework.
The ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (https://chi2021.acm.org/)