Using Oculus Rift To Control A Drone. A Real Drone.


How meta. It’s designed to let you enter virtual reality, but the Oculus Rift can also be used to control things in the real world. Like drones.

This is the first flight of Oculus FPV, a scheme put together by Intuitive Aerial that lets you use the headset to get a birds-eye view of stuff that’s actually there, rather than being made out of polygons.

The drone is carrying a laptop so it can communicate with the headset, but right now the sticking point is range; since it’s using wi-fi to communicate, it’ll only get to around 50-100m.

If they can fix that, though…who needs video games?

Oculus FPV [Intuitive Aerial, via technabob]


  • It’s not clear to me whether the FPV guy controls it at some point or not. In any case, in most countries controlling a drone in FPV view is illegal, as the legal requirements for flying UAVs usually involve having a direct line of sight to the vehicle. It’s certainly the case in Australia, and it’s for the best, as flying in FPS doesn’t give you a good enough situational awareness.

    First Person View on UAVs didn’t wait for the Occulus Rift though, people have been using all sort of headmounted screens for a couple of years or more, but it would probably look better with a OR, provided you don’t need to look at anything else. FPV remains a good option for an observer, and a lot of UAV applications are about observing stuff.

    As regards control though, expect FPV flight (as in flying the thing from a FPV) to be banned soon or later in countries where people still do it currently (eg in many European countries) as laws are changing and will become tougher. These things are heavy and can do damage and a lot of people are still flying them like complete idiots (eg above people. At least these guys here fly in a sensible way over a non populated area). These UAVs might look cool but they are not toys.

  • This is no different from lots of other FPV gear. You can already but goggles with longer range and sensors (if you have a tilt/pitch camera mount).
    They are not “controlling” anything with the rift, they are using it as a set of FPV goggles.
    The only unique thing they’ve done is use 2 cameras to get 3D view, which is pretty pointless when you’re in the air.
    They’ve taken 2 laptops and a $300 dev kit to do the job of a $200 kit over a smaller range…. kind of pointless.

Show more comments

Log in to comment on this story!