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Superhuman sports are somatic activities combined with technologies like mixed reality, extending players’ ability at the playground by using wearable gears. A Superhuman Sports ball game is designed for players able to interact with a catchable drone ball, where its 6D pose is trackable using onboard LEDs. This paper explains how we developed a drone, which semi-autonomously flies and safely interacts with players and constructions in this game, and how we built the in-game interaction setup.



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nameAutonomous Flying Mini Drone-ball in a Multi-Player AR Superhuman Sports Game.pdf


In this paper, we depicted how an autonomously indoor flying drone with various constraints and requirements is built and developed. It shall move away from close obstacles and fly towards detected human targets or behave correspondingly to specified game rules. It needs to hover long enough to finish a game. It has to be safe and small enough just as a normal volleyball that can be caught by hand. Along with that, the drone has to be able to recognize, when it itself is being hold or caught by a player. With these objectives, we made many compromises and also tried hard to balance trade-offs, in order to support a playable drone-ball SSG with AR in the near future. We improved many designs and replaced various parts after each crash in flight tests, such as the cage and the sensor tower. Moreover, we built a goal for the scoring system of the game.

Last but not least, we believe there is still a big room for optimization and more flight tests are necessary. To handle noisy data for obstacles and target detection, the altitude and relative position estimation, further parameter tuning and methods such as Extended Kalman-Filter and Fast Fourier Transformation can be used to reduce such noises.

During this project, we learned how to build things from scratch based on numerous researches, we became more patient about dealing with failures. We are looking forward to optimize the drone and its in-game infrastructure for a playable game.