Drone & Wo: Cultural Influences on Human-Drone Interaction Techniques

Jane L. E, Ilene L. E, James A. Landay, Jessica R. Cauchard
CHI: ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, 2017
As drones become ubiquitous, it is important to understand how cultural differences impact human-drone interaction. A previous elicitation study performed in the United States illustrated how users would intuitively interact with drones. We replicated this study in China to gain insight into how these user-defined interactions vary across the two cultures. We found that as per the US study, Chinese participants chose to interact primarily using gesture. However, Chinese participants used multi-modal interactions more than their US counterparts. Agreement for many proposed interactions was high within each culture. Across cultures, there were notable differences despite similarities in interaction modality preferences. For instance, culturally-specific gestures emerged in China, such as a T-shape gesture for stopping the drone. Participants from both cultures anthropomorphized the drone, and welcomed it into their personal space. We describe the implications of these findings on designing culturally-aware and intuitive human-drone interaction.