Designing drone chi: Unpacking the thinking and making of somaesthetic human-drone interaction
Paper in proceedings, 2020

Drone Chi is a Tai Chi inspired human-drone interaction experience. As a design research project, situated within somaesthetic interaction design, where a central topic is cultivating bodily and sensory appreciation to improve one's quality of life. Drone Chi investigates the potential of autonomous micro-quadcopters as a design material for somaesthetic HCI. Through a quasi-chronological account of the design process, this pictorial articulates how the sensory experiences of Tai Chi were integrated into Drone Chi. Taking a slow and open-ended design research approach, we iteratively developed the project through somaesthetic, product design and engineering perspectives and drew heavily on design analogies and imagery for inspiration. This elevated the influence of the soma amongst narrow engineering parameters and usability requirements. This pictorial serves as a reflective resource for designers who are experimenting with merging their native discipline with someasthetic interaction design.


somaesthetic appreciation

tai chi

Gestural interaction

Soma design



Human-drone interaction


Joseph La Delfa

RMIT University

Mehmet Aydin Baytas

Chalmers, Computer Science and Engineering (Chalmers), Interaction Design (Chalmers)

Emma Luke

RMIT University

Ben Koder

RMIT University

Florian Floyd Mueller

Monash University

DIS 2020 - Proceedings of the 2020 ACM Designing Interactive Systems Conference


2020 ACM Conference on Designing Interactive Systems, DIS 2020
Eindhoven, Netherlands,

Subject Categories


Interaction Technologies

Human Computer Interaction



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