Standard drone control system requiresthe use of both hands of the operator. A team of experts working in the UAV industry has developed a working prototype of the Knukles-5 controller, allowing the drone pilot to operate the aircraft with one hand while leaving the other free. After the start of mass production of the original joystick, according to the inventors, Knukles-5 will be used not only in work with drones, but also as a joystick in gaming applications.
Two joysticks of traditional control systemdrones are now being replaced by two trackballs moved by the operator's index and thumb. Each trackball controls the drone along two axes of motion. Two axes of motion are controlled by a thumb-activated mini-joystick, and two more are controlled using an IMU (Inertial Measurement Unit) that determines the direction of the controller tilt. Thus, a total of 8 motion axes can be controlled.
Monitoring drone parameters such as battery levelbattery can be done using the small monitor on top of the Knukles-5 controller. The team of inventors included Konstantin Borisov (author of the idea and creator of the controller), Evgeny Dudkin (production specialist), Kirill Dukh (expert in computer technologies) and Andrey Samozvon (software developer).
When using Knukles-5 in gaming applicationsthe functionality of the keys can be expanded to control 19-axis motion and the operator has access to 40 different key functions. This involves 4 configurable buttons and three controller switches, with the trackballs themselves acting as buttons.
A demonstration of a working prototype will take place at CES 2021, and the Knukles-5 will enter the market by the end of 2021. The price of the product, according to Konstantin Borisov, will range from $ 250 to $ 300.