PVD+ Awakens The Force To Fly Drones Using Apple's iWatch

By Paul Pajarillo , Jan 03, 2016 10:17 PM EST

A group of Taiwanese researchers has developed an algorithm for wearables that enables to fly drones. A programming language known as 'Dong' uses hand gestures to fly unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).

According to Reuters, a team of Taiwanese researchers has managed to turn an Apple iWatch into a remote control that can be used to fly UAVs. Like a Jedi that uses the force, a programming algorithm dubbed as the 'Dong' enables the controller to utilize hand gestures to manipulate the drones.

A group of engineers and technologists that goes by the name of PVD+ has been working with the National Chung Hsing University of Taiwan in developing the Dong programming language. This algorithm when installed on smartwatches and other wearables like the Apple iWatch can be turned into a remote control of all sorts.

In this case, the Dong algorithm was installed on an Apple Watch and turned it into a sensor that permits its users to control a drone by using hand and body gestures. The Dong programming language translates the wearer's movements into a drone's tilt or pitch.

In a video captured by Reuters, Mark Ven, Dong project leader, gently moves a Parrot AR 3.0 Drone from right to left using hand and arm movements that look similar to Star Wars Jedi Masters as they use 'The Force.' PVD+ says that the programming language can be designed and installed onto any gyroscope-equipped wearable or other wearables that use movement sensors.

Ven states that previously users needed complicated remote controls to fly UAVs. With the Dong algorithm installed on smartwatches, users will be able to fly drones using human gestures and behavior with direct interaction. In addition, he explained that the algorithm can be used for other purposes than flying drones like turning on and off a TV or a smart home's lighting system.

PVD+'s team is now in the process of patent application for the Dong programming algorithm software. As of the moment, smartwatch users and drone owners would have to wait a little longer before the 'Force' really awakens.

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