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  1. Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are becoming more common, presenting the need for effective human-robot communication strategies that address the unique nature of unmanned aerial flight. Visual communication via drone flight paths, also called gestures, may prove to be an ideal method. However, the effectiveness of visual communication techniques is dependent on several factors including an observer's position relative to a UAV. Previous work has studied the maximum line-of-sight at which observers can identify a small UAV [1]. However, this work did not consider how changes in distance may affect an observer's ability to perceive the shape of a UAV's motion. In this study, we conduct a series of online surveys to evaluate how changes in line-of-sight distance and gesture size affect observers' ability to identify and distinguish between UAV gestures. We first examine observers' ability to accurately identify gestures when adjusting a gesture's size relative to the size of a UAV. We then measure how observers' ability to identify gestures changes with respect to varying line-of-sight distances. Lastly, we consider how altering the size of a UAV gesture may improve an observer's ability to identify drone gestures from varying distances. Our results show that increasing the gesture size across varyingmore »UAV to gesture ratios did not have a significant effect on participant response accuracy. We found that between 17 m and 75 m from the observer, their ability to accurately identify a drone gesture was inversely proportional to the distance between the observer and the drone. Finally, we found that maintaining a gesture's apparent size improves participant response accuracy over changing line-of-sight distances.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available October 23, 2023
  2. Free, publicly-accessible full text available October 1, 2023
  3. Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) flight paths have been shown to communicate meaning to human observers, similar to human gestural communication. This paper presents the results of a UAV gesture perception study designed to assess how observer viewpoint perspective may impact how humans perceive the shape of UAV gestural motion. Robot gesture designers have demonstrated that robots can indeed communicate meaning through gesture; however, many of these results are limited to an idealized range of viewer perspectives and do not consider how the perception of a robot gesture may suffer from obfuscation or self-occlusion from some viewpoints. This paper presents the results of three online user-studies that examine participants' ability to accurately perceive the intended shape of two-dimensional UAV gestures from varying viewer perspectives. We used a logistic regression model to characterize participant gesture classification accuracy, demonstrating that viewer perspective does impact how participants perceive the shape of UAV gestures. Our results yielded a viewpoint angle threshold from beyond which participants were able to assess the intended shape of a gesture's motion with 90% accuracy. We also introduce a perceptibility score to capture user confidence, time to decision, and accuracy in labeling and to understand how differences in flight paths impactmore »perception across viewpoints. These findings will enable UAV gesture systems that, with a high degree of confidence, ensure gesture motions can be accurately perceived by human observers.« less