Drone Interactive

VIDEO. Soon a new attraction combining drones and virtual reality

The meter tracks the seconds that separate you from the fateful moment. Your heart is accelerating. And suddenly, it’s the top start. In your virtual reality headset, the still image of the battle arena filmed by your drone suddenly comes alive. The machine you’re piloting just took off. Your mission : shoot down a maximum of indolent beetles that fly around your drone in a minimum of time. Images of these creatures are displayed like a video game in your helmet, overprinting images from the camera of your flying machine. A pressure on a trigger makes it possible to trigger a shot whose projectile is materialized by a light line. If he hits his target, it is destroyed. This is what some amusement park attractions might look like tomorrow. This is what the company Drone Interactive, incubated by Linksium on the university site of Grenoble Alpes, is working on.

2 drones in 15 m2

The implementation of this technology is very complex, in particular because it is aimed at neophytes who have potentially never had the opportunity to fly a drone. The flying machine must therefore not only respond perfectly to the pilot’s indications, but in addition, the system must manage in real time the position of each of the virtual targets as well as the trajectory of the shots. But that’s not all. So that the piloting experience does not end in a few seconds in a fracas of broken equipment, the device constantly controls the position of each of the drones in order to avoid collisions. Indeed, in the pilot device we saw, two machines could fly simultaneously. In addition, flying machines must imperatively remain confined to a space of about fifteen square meters. This space is delimited by a set of infrared cameras placed on the edges of the arena. “They make it possible to precisely locate the machines and restrict their movements to the gaming space” explains Vincent Rigau, CEO of Drone Interactive.

The device works quite well at the prototype stage, although some elements have yet to be developed. “We are thinking about a device allowing an automatic change of the batteries of the drones between two parts” explains Vincent Rigau. But the company is confident in its ability to solve the ultimate technical problems. “We are now industrializing this prototype to have a first product by the end of 2018, and which will be installed in the first leisure parks, especially in France. Potentially, the first installation will be in place for the holidays of All Saints”, he specifies, without giving a more precise place than “in a large French park”. But Drone Interactive is already working on another more ambitious project : a real drone race on almost 800 square meters with machines that evolve at more than 50 km / h .” We are still in the research and development phase and we are considering commercialization from 2020 ” he advances.

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