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Heather Culbertson

University of Southern California

Designing and Controlling Haptic Interactions with a Drone


This talk presents our work using drones as encountered-type haptic devices. These drones address many of the limitations of standard kinesthetic haptic devices, including a small workspace and high inertia. I will present our work in using a Crazyflie drone to simulate varying levels of virtual stiffness during haptic rendering. I will also describe the challenges of touch-based interactions with drones and provide thoughts on where we go from here to expand to complexity and expressiveness of such systems.


Heather Culbertson is a Gabilan Assistant Professor of Computer Science at the University of Southern California. Her research focuses on the design and control of haptic devices and rendering systems, human-robot interaction, and virtual reality. She received her PhD and MS degrees in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics (MEAM) at the University of Pennsylvania, and her BS degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Nevada-Reno. She is currently serving as General Co-Chair for IEEE Haptics Symposium. Her awards include the NSF CAREER Award, IEEE Technical Committee on Haptics Early Career Award, Best Paper at UIST 2017, and the Best Hands-On Demonstration Award at IEEE World Haptics 2013.

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