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Digital Futures Drone Arena

Join the Second Drone Challenge at the Digital Futures Drone Arena, a one-of-a-kind interactive event with aerial drone technology! This year, the challenge focuses on moving with drones in beautiful, curious, and provocative ways – without needing to write a single line of code. The event takes place on May 16-17, 2023, at KTH’s Reactor Hall in Stockholm, Sweden. Read more about the challenge, the prizes, and how to sign up on our Drone Arena challenge website.

The Digital Futures Drone Arena is a concrete and conceptual platform where key players in digital transformation and society join in a conversation about the role and impact of mobile robotics, autonomous systems, machine learning, and human-computer interaction.

Drone Arena logo

The platform is a novel aerial drone testbed, where drone competitions occur periodically to understand and explore the unfolding relationships between humans and drones. Aerial drones are used as an opportunity to create a foundation that lives past the end of this project. It is a long-standing basis for testing technical advances and studying, designing, and envisioning novel relationships between humans, robots, and their functioning principles.

Few robot testbeds exist to experiment with application-level functionality. The Digital Futures Drone Arena bridges this gap by providing an easy-to-use programmable drone testbed for experimenting with novel drone applications and exploring the relations between humans and drones. The latter activity is driven by the concept of a ‘soma’ or the lived and felt body as it exists, moves, and senses the world. The theory provides an ethical stance on the soma, highlighting how technologies and interactions encourage certain movements and practices while discouraging others. As a critique of technology design and use, somaesthetics addresses the limited and limiting ways we sit at desks and tap away at keyboards. When we interact closely with drones, we must adapt to how we control them and move around them.

Crossdisciplinary collaboration
The researchers in the team represent the Connected Intelligence Unit, RISE and the Department of Computer and Systems Sciences, Stockholm University.


Digital Futures Drone Arena

Watch the recorded presentation at the Digitalize in Stockholm 2023 event:



Picture of Luca Mottola

Luca Mottola

Senior researcher, Connected Intelligence Unit at RISE, PI of research project Digital Futures Drone Arena, Digital Futures Faculty

+46 (0)73 801 52 67
Picture of Airi Lampinen

Airi Lampinen

Associate Professor, Department of Computer and Systems Sciences (DSV) at Stockholm University, Co-supervisor: Technology Mediated Collective Caring through Menstrual and Reproductive Journeys, Co-PI: Digital Futures Drone Arena, Former Co-PI: Layering Trust in Intimate Digital Health Technologies, Former Main supervisor: Relational Aspects of Care in Intimate Digital Health Technologies, Digital Futures Faculty

+46 08 16 16 19