Fly by Feel - Can we Fly Without Vision?

University of Maryland Department of Aerospace Engineering Assistant Professor Umberto Saetti recently presented some of his research during a TEDx talk hosted in his hometown of Mirandola, Italy.

Opening with, “What if I told you that human-machine interaction could be like that of Tony Stark and Jarvis in the Iron Man movies?” Saetti presented an exploration of the potential for work being done in his Extended Reality Flight Simulation and Control Lab, which uses a fusion of virtual reality and tactile feedback approaches to create immersive, Extended Reality (XR) piloted flight simulations.

"This technology has the potential not only to increase the safety of flight, but also to make aviation more inclusive,” explained Saetti. “Through tactile feedback and spatial audio cueing, we can help visually impaired individuals navigate and interact with the aviation environment. Ultimately, multi-modal cueing empowers them to engage with aviation in a more independent and immersive manner, fostering their confidence and interest in the field.”

Watch Saetti’s TEDx Talk:

To learn more about the research that Saetti and his team are doing, visit:

Published August 11, 2023