Drone Chi: Somaesthetic human-drone interaction

Joseph Delfa, Mehmet Aydın BaytaŞ, Rakesh Patibanda, Hazel Ngari, Rohit Ashok Khot, Floyd "Floyd" Mueller

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference PaperResearchpeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


Somaesthetics—motivated by improving life quality via appreciation for bodily and sensory experiences—is increasingly influencing HCI designs. Investigating the potential of drones as a material for somaesthetic HCI, we designed Drone Chi: a
Tai Chi-inspired close-range human-drone interaction experience. The design process for Drone Chi has been informed by the soma design approach and the Somaesthetic Appreciation concept from HCI literature. The artifact expands somaesthetic
HCI by exemplifying dynamic and intimate somaesthetic interactions with a robotic design material, and body movements in expansive 3D space. To characterize the Drone Chi experience, we conducted an empirical study with 32 participants.
Analysis of participant accounts revealed 4 themes
that articulate different aspects of the experience: Looping Mental States, Environment, Agency vs. Control, and Physical Narratives. From these accounts and our craft knowledge, we derive 5 design implications to guide the development of
movement-based close-range drone interactions.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 2020 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
EditorsJoanna McGrenere, Andy Cockburn
Place of PublicationNew York NY USA
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery (ACM)
Number of pages13
ISBN (Print)9781450367080
Publication statusPublished - 2020
EventInternational Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems 2020 - Honolulu , United States of America
Duration: 25 Apr 202030 Apr 2020
Conference number: 38th
https://chi2020.acm.org (Website)
https://dl.acm.org/doi/proceedings/10.1145/3313831 (Proceedings)


ConferenceInternational Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems 2020
Abbreviated titleCHI 2020
Country/TerritoryUnited States of America
Internet address


  • Drones
  • human-drone interaction
  • movement
  • soma design
  • somaesthetics
  • Somaesthetic Appreciation
  • Tai Chi

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