CardKit: A Card-Based Programming Framework for Drones

Drones are being used in many industries for a variety of applications, including inspecting bridges, surveying farm land, and delivering cargo. Automating these kinds of scenarios requires more than following a sequence of GPS waypoints; they require integrating on-device hardware with real-time analysis to provide feedback and control to the drone. Currently, implementing these kinds of advanced scenarios is a complex task, requiring skilled software engineers programming with drone APIs. We envision an alternate model to enable drone operators to orchestrate advanced behaviors using a card-based approach. We describe the design of our card-based programming model, position it relative to other visual programming metaphors, share results from our paper prototype user study, and discuss our learnings from its implementation. Results suggest that a wide range of scenarios can be implemented with moderate mental effort and learning, balanced by intuitiveness and engagement.

By: Saad Ismail, Justin G. Manweiler, Justin D. Weisz

Published in: RC25674 in 2018


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