This research investigates how aerial vehicles can communicate information about both the vehicle, its status, and its perception of the environment with both the operator and bystanders. Results from this work should allow robots to alert bystanders to problems (such as low battery before an emergency landing) and allow operators to better interact with multiple vehicles or in hostile environments. Future work in this area will work on bridging my distancing work with this communication aspect in order to allow workers to interact with robots that may be monitoring the environment, searching for danger, or aiding with everyday tasks to report any interesting findings, robot problems, or simply adapt to a changing environment (distancing and size of the communication will need to change based on room size, lighting, etc.). This problem is difficult because it fuses problems dealing with human perception, communication with entities more closely resembling animals than humans, and limited on-board processing and power for the vehicles.
Gestural communications are currently being investigated through support from the National Science Foundation, in conjunction with the other work on the Prescribed Fire Ignition project.