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Drona Aviation | Pluto Controller 


Drona Aviation is an IIT Bombay-based company whose vision is to enable and foster a community of Drone enthusiasts in India.

Pluto Controller is a smartphone native application used to control Pluto-Micro-drone. The application is used as a controller, monitor, and firmware-pushing platform for drone hardware.

I led the UX design of the project. We started by understanding user needs, pain points through fieldwork. Analyzed research data and came up with actionable insights.
Followed by ideation and prototyping.


The challenge was to redesign the drone controller for better control and flying experience. The target was to increase flight time and reduce the learning curve. Features and UI should appeal to both the school and the techie.


To understand the user behaviour and pain areas,
I opted for field work user study. After attending drone workshops organised by Drona Aviation, observing participants closely and having friendly conversations with a few I was able to identify a few key problems with existing drone controller applications and overall flying experience. 

Pain Points 

1. Stiff learning curve

2. Lack of haptic feedback

3. Find-ability Issues 

4. Accessibility Issues 

Design Opportunities
1. First flight experience 

2. Haptic feedback for error prevention 

3. Gamification 

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DIY Mini-drone workshop by Drona aviation
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New Ux-driven features 
  1. Auto takeoff and landing  
    Initial success is important for the user to gain confidence in flying the drone also it helps to overcome the stiff learning curve


  2. Pilot profiles
    Kids share their drones with friends and siblings. Creating a pilot profile helps in personalisation and gamification


  3. Gamification and leaderboard
    Leaderboard, personalised score, best flight, and flight time encourage kids to do their best to get a higher position on the leaderboard


  4. Logical information architecture 
    Find-ability issues are connected to IA. We conducted a closed card sorting with 5 users to validate the refined IA

   5. Haptic feedback on the controller
Haptic feedback can help a lot in avoiding drone crashes.
       It also reduces the need to look at the screen while
       flying the drone


   6. Sinistrality friendly 
Left-handed user finds it difficult to operate the app so
       we introduced a function to flip the controls if needed


   7. Easy set-up and calibration instructions 
       Poor calibration leads to drone crashes, easy and
       intuitive ways to calibrate will improve the flying


   8. Developer mode and aerial flip buttons 
       Considering the Expert, intermediate, and novice users,
       we provided advanced features for our expert users

Wireframe and paper prototype
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UI design

Pluto Controller 2.0 is a fully revamped version of the old Pluto Controller app. This is a total overhaul. From a new UI to an improved and immersive flight experience, to switchable themes and user profile creation, Pluto Controller 2.0 brings in all the bells and whistles you’d expect from a modern Drone app!

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External joystick support with controller mapping


Drone settings


Live sensor data visualisation 

Pluto controller reimagined | Video

Available On 

That's all about it! thank you

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