Hawker

The Concept

The Hawker is a simulator platform whereby a pilot can control a drone or model aircraft from the ground, while still receiving an immersive experience. A VR headset in combination with motion sensors will allow the user to fly the aircraft easily and with minute precision.

The Background

The pilot leans in an ergonomic position to simulate flying. Their stomach is thus resting at an angle and the inclination of the apparatus can be changed according to the preference of the user. The apparatus can be adjusted from a flat-lying position (Horizontal), or, to a slightly bent standing position. The Hawker, can also tilt left and right with its integrated electric base or rotate around its vertical axis allowing for seamless control. This also means the pilot could turn and bank in full 360˚ motion.

The Hawker requires the user to lie on the simulator device wearing a VR helmet. The device is connected to a jet drone that looks like a small robotic hawk which can be controlled by the users movements on the simulator. The Hawk contains on board cameras which allow the images to be relayed through the VR headset providing the user with a truly immersive experience. The VR headset will give the experience of flying without ever having to leave the ground.

The pilot and the aircraft could be observed and assisted by a deep learning software. The VR helmet worn by the pilot would integrate EEG, eye-tracking systems and other biometric sensors. The Hawker jet would also have multiple sensors. By analyzing the reaction and the data coming from the pilot and the aircraft the AI software could improve the experience and learn to improve over time.

What’s It Used For?

The Hawker could be used as a recreational vehicle to fly over fields, lakes, and forests, and allow the user to experience breathtaking scenery from the comfort of their own home. It could also be used as a virtual park ranger patrolling vast and hard to reach areas to prevent illicit activities. It could also be used for search and rescue missions in any weather conditions.  

Potential Market

Similar systems are being developed in the world today like the Hypersuit. The Hypersuit encompasses an exoskeleton that the user can lie on and a VR headset. In combination, the Hypersuit allows the user to control a character in a range of videogames.

As this technology already exists, it realistic to think that engineers could develop the function to remotely control small jet aircraft with the Hypersuit. Deep learning algorithms to improve flight could be developed in parallel.

The Designer

The images of the Hawker were produced by Ashish Thulkar, an Industrial Designer from Bangalore, India. Ashish graduated with a master’s degree in design from the Indian Institute of Science in 2014. He currently works as a freelance vehicle designer in Mumbai, India.