Former NASA Astronaut Develops Single-Handed Drone Controller

Physician, pilot and former NASA astronaut Scott Parazynski has designed a single-handed drone controller dubbed the FT Aviator, created to increase the precision of and simplify drone flight.

Unlike traditional controllers, which most closely resemble a gaming controller with a two-thumbed control design, the patented FT Aviator features an ergonomic design that incorporates the drone-relevant four degrees of freedom through space (x, y, z and yaw). Leveraging the native DJI transmitter-receiver radio, the product consists of a joystick, base and smartphone holder. It also includes the camera functions, versus having them in an app.

“Working with everything from the Space Shuttle robotic arm to surgical robotics in labs, I found controllers clunky, inaccurate and in no way related to the dynamics of movement through space,” says Parazynski, founder and CEO of Fluidity Technologies, which is launching FT Aviator. “Our patented technology changes that – for the first time, providing highly intuitive, precision movement to UAVs. It stands to lower the barrier to entry to drone flying, tremendously enhancing precision while also making drone flight a lot more fun.”

The FT Aviator is currently compatible with nearly all DJI drones and will be available for purchase on Kickstarter. The FT Aviator is expected to retail for $449 but is available for pre-order for $225 with limited quantities. It is expected to ship in early Q1 2019.

The FT Aviator is the first product launched by Fluidity Technologies.

Fluidity0035 Former NASA Astronaut Develops Single-Handed Drone Controller

3 COMMENTS

  1. Thanks, Pepperjet. The four degrees of freedom necessary to fly your drone (fore/aft, left/right, up/down and yaw) are all commanded by your dominant hand. The base unit is optimized for improved access to camera control, and is typically held in your other hand, although there is a 1/4-20 mount if a tripod is desired. The FT Aviator provides tactile feedback when you’re issuing a command, and (equally important) when you’re not, and has other unique situational awareness cues built right in. Check out other cool details on Kickstarter, and receive up to a 50% discount on the estimated market price: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/fluiditytech/ft-aviator-a-revolutionary-single-handed-drone-con

  2. Thanks for the reply Scott. Have some reasonably complex FBW stick time and I think the idea is valid, especially with the ability to mount a small touchscreen to either side. For portable use, unlike a regular RC aircraft Tx w/ neck strap, a joystick controller is much more stable to use when mounted to a solid base, such as the tripod you suggested. It would then, of course, free up a hand to manipulate other items. To be a true single-handed drone controller, a waist-arm mount w/ neck strap portable base, or perhaps a light quickly deployable tripod would seem to be a logical next step on the accessory list. Looking forward to seeing the FT Aviator in action.

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