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Introduction - why we need to communicate better

The UK Research Institute's (UKRI) Future Flight Vision and Roadmap sees drones making deliveries in UK towns and cities in the very near future.

Surveys asking the public their views on the use of drones suggest low levels of awareness and interest.  There has been minimal information of how and where they might be used in logistics making the use of drones difficult to relate to everyday lives.

Generating wider discussion and debate is therefore essential but challenging as this is not a prominent subject and is difficult to conceptualize with drones more generally associated with hobby, photography and military uses. 

Using Virtual Reality


VR used in gazebo in town centres

We use virtual reality (VR) to bring logistics drones into places that are familiar to people - taking the VR  to high streets,  inviting passing members of the public to experience the drones flying over the location where they are sitting.

The VR provides participants with an idea of how the drones might look look and sound in the absence of direct experience. Participants are then invited to reflect on what delivery drones mean to them through a short survey. The VR survey was used in Bournemouth and Boscombe town centres and Southampton City Centre where a total of 241 people took part. 


See our poster presentation for more details:

Urban Transitions Conference 2022: Deliveries by drone? Using virtual reality to extend public debate

Video showing drones flying over Talbot Campus, Bournemouth University

Delivery drone board game - sparking group discussion


Board game pilot at the ESRC Festival of Social Sciences November 2022

The board game has been developed as part of an E-Drone PhD project. It provides a space to share ideas and reflect on the use of delivery drones in a local context providing an effective format for undertaking focus group activities.


The first board design showed locations around Bournemouth but has now been adapted to show different localities.

The gameplay involves realistic drone scenarios including choices related to risk, time and energy along with other operational parameters with prompts throughout the game requiring participants to reflect on different aspects of drone deliveries.  

A poster presentation of this research is available here:

Download the Solent Game of (Delivery) Drones:

Game Board

Mission Cards

Comment Cards

Flight Update Cards

Energy Cards

Risk Meter

Game Instructions

Development of a digital game

An app based digital game has been created as part of the E-Drone project. 

Using the game players can explore the effects of different drone route planning strategies on risk and energy use in the context of an area that is familiar to them.


The utilises risk and energy modelling work undertaken by E-Drone  researchers at the University of Southampton and UCL with versions developed for Southampton and Bournemouth.

Screen shot of digital game - player plots route across an area

Usng VR
Board Game
Digital Game

Members of the public trying the digital game at Hands on Humanity

The digital game on a touch screen table at the Bloomsbury Festival


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