Designing Drones: Factors and Characteristics Influencing the Perception of Flying Robots

Anna Wojciechowska, Jeremy Frey, Esther Mandelblum, Yair Amichai-Hamburger, Jessica R Cauchard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The last few years have seen a revolution in aerial robotics where personal drones are becoming pervasive to our environments and can be bought by anyone anywhere, including at local supermarkets. As they become ubiquitous to our lives, it is crucial to understand how they are perceived and understood by people. The robotics community has extensively theorized and quantified how robotic agents are perceived as social creatures and how this affects users and passersby. However, dronespresent different form factors that are yet to be systematically explored. This work aims to fill this gap by understanding
people’s perceptions of drones and how drones physical features correlate to a series of dimensions. We explored the quadcopters available on the 2018 market and built a dataset of 63 images that were evaluated in a user study (N=307). Using the study results, we present a model of how people understand drones based on their design and which physical features are better suited for people wanting to interact with drones. Our findings highlight that safety features have a negative effect on several dimensions including trust. Our work contributes a set of design guidelines for future personal drones and concludes on the implications for ubiquitous computing.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-19
Number of pages19
JournalProceedings of the ACM on Interactive, Mobile, Wearable and Ubiquitous Technologies
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2019


Dive into the research topics of 'Designing Drones: Factors and Characteristics Influencing the Perception of Flying Robots'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this