The Use of Gaze to Control Drones

John Paulin Hansen, Alexandre Alapetite, I. Scott MacKenzie, Emilie Møllenbach

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


    This paper presents an experimental investigation of gaze-based control modes for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs or “drones”). Ten participants performed a simple flying task. We gathered empirical measures, including task completion time, and examined the user experience for difficulty, reliability, and fun. Four control modes were tested, with each mode applying a combination of x-y gaze movement and manual (keyboard) input to control speed (pitch), altitude, rotation (yaw), and drafting (roll). Participants had similar task completion times for all four control modes, but one combination was considered significantly more reliable than the others. We discuss design and performance issues for the gaze-plus-manual split of controls when drones are operated using gaze in conjunction with tablets, near-eye displays (glasses), or monitors.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationProceedings of the Symposium on Eye Tracking Research and Applications, ETRA 2014
    PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
    Publication date2014
    ISBN (Print)978-1-4503-2751-0
    Publication statusPublished - 2014
    Event2014 Symposium on Eye Tracking Research and Applications - Safety Harbor, FL, United States
    Duration: 26 Mar 201428 Mar 2014


    Conference2014 Symposium on Eye Tracking Research and Applications
    Country/TerritoryUnited States
    CitySafety Harbor, FL
    Internet address


    • Drones
    • UAV
    • Gaze interaction
    • Gaze input
    • Multimodality
    • Mobility
    • Head-mounted displays
    • Augmented or mixed reality systems
    • Video gaming
    • Robotics


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