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The eyes and hearts of UAV pilots: observations of physiological responses in real-life scenarios

by   Alexandre Duval, et al.
Ecole De Technologie Superieure (Ets)
Concordia University

The drone industry is diversifying and the number of pilots increases rapidly. In this context, flight schools need adapted tools to train pilots, most importantly with regard to their own awareness of their physiological and cognitive limits. In civil and military aviation, pilots can train themselves on realistic simulators to tune their reaction and reflexes, but also to gather data on their piloting behavior and physiological states. It helps them to improve their performances. Opposed to cockpit scenarios, drone teleoperation is conducted outdoor in the field, thus with only limited potential from desktop simulation training. This work aims to provide a solution to gather pilots behavior out in the field and help them increase their performance. We combined advance object detection from a frontal camera to gaze and heart-rate variability measurements. We observed pilots and analyze their behavior over three flight challenges. We believe this tool can support pilots both in their training and in their regular flight tasks. A demonstration video is available on


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