A drone offers many advantages for rescue services.
From a better
overview of a situation, to the ability of a drone to get to the scene faster.
These and many other possibilities that a drone can bring with it, make
it an important tool for many emergency services.
The interface for controlling the drone and various functions is currently primarily designed for filming and photography. For this reason, we saw great potential at this point in a new user interface specially designed for emergency services. The project was accompanied by Bernhard Staiber from Intuity Media Lab.
The newly revised and tidy UI gives the user direct access to the most important functions. The user has the possibility to place a map layer over the recording and to determine the opacity by using the slider on the side. A button allows the user to set marker points, to which the drone pilot can always simply return or let them fly in a kind of auto-pilot mode one after the other.
Another example of an important function would be the transmission of the live image to the respective control center. Communication between emergency forces and the control centre is an important part of the interaction between both sides during an operation and is currently carried out via radio. In order to simplify and optimize the communication, this would be improved by the additional recordings of the drone. This functionality was also really appreciated by our contacts and specialists. This is one of the most important functions, which is easy to reach and highlighted by the larger button in the lower left corner.
Due to our personal experience of the work of rescue forces during missions as well as conducted interviews, we were able to gain a good and comprehensive overview of the tasks of the rescue services and operational procedures. At the same time, this project included another important factor - a drone. In order to examine the work and use of a drone, we tested this ourselves by running various user tests.
The drone and its functions have been closely analyzed. What possibilities do drones currently offer, which ones could still offer in the future and what needs to be improved about the current functions, specially for emergency services? During the user tests, we also investigated how people, passengers (in the case of a mission) or perhaps even victims behave towards the drone and how they deal with it.
In the new user interface, not only existing, but also future functionalities of the drone were taken into account. Throughout the project, we involved different people from different areas of the emergency services. Our focus was particularly on the area of deployment of various mass events (sports events, demonstrations, festivals, etc.). Especially in this use case there are many possible uses for a drone, some of which are already in being used.