Image credit: Christian Pfeiffer

Expertise affects drone racing performance


First-person view drone racing has become a popular televised sport. However, very little is known about the perceptual and motor skills of professional drone racing pilots. A better understanding of these skills may inform path planning and control algorithms for autonomous multirotor flight. By using a real-world drone racing track and a large-scale position tracking system, we compare the drone racing performance of five professional and five beginner pilots. Results show that professional pilots consistently outperform beginner pilots by achieving faster lap times, higher velocity, and more efficiently executing the challenging maneuvers. Trajectory analysis shows that experienced pilots choose more optimal racing lines than beginner pilots. Our results provide strong evidence for a contribution of expertise to performances in real-world human-piloted drone racing. We discuss the implications of these results for future work on autonomous fast and agile flight. We make our data openly available.

In arXiv
Drone Racing Human Factors Psychology
Dr. Christian Pfeiffer
PhD in Cognitive Neuroscience, MSc in Psychology

I am passionate about supporting university professors in their personal development and on the topic of leadership. With a background in psychology and cognitive neuroscience, and 10+ years experience as academic scholar, my consulting combines theoretical depth and practical relevance to help leaders excell in their professional career development. Expertise: Psychology, Cognitive Neuroscience, Computer Science, Robotics. Interests: Leadership, Personal Development