According to Joseph Dorando, there is a therapy treatment that physical therapists and those in the medical community are unaware of, that strengthens/teaches eye-and-hand coordination, spatial thinking, muscle training, memory, dexterity, concentration, focus, and attention span, along with employment and enhanced social enabling skills.
There are many testimonies by students who have been trained flying drones, that are convinced that flying a small unmanned aircraft system (sUAS) or drone had become more than what they had enjoyed, but it actually became a form of therapy for them. By flying drones, they started to look forward to the training, out in the open, as they gained more time-in-flight training operations.
Mr. Dorando shares that as the students progressed in their flight skills, he would introduce them to flying via “First Person View” (FPV) and one of their comments was,“It was like an out-of-body experience.” It felt like the real world to him.
Is this the validation needed?
Physical and mental health issues, such as Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI), Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and other neurological disorders and cognitive issues, are difficult to overcome and find hope and healing from. Mr. Dorando wonders if there may be others, like him, who see flying drones as a way to cope with their struggles and find relief and healing. Could it be that drones have a therapeutic benefit?
Mr. Dorando makes a point that pilots will testify that students who have experienced such flights, will say that “there is nothing like it.” He suggests that a person confined to a wheelchair can experience what it feels like to be in the pilot seat when flying a drone that is equipped with First Person View (FPV) and a head-tracking camera.
Mr. Dorando describes the experience this way: “You’re flying through a giant TV screen that you saw aboard the USS Enterprise in Star Trek. Imagine soaring above the hills and valleys viewing in any and all directions, or over and through the trees in a challenging course.”
Mr. Dorando is not suggesting that such experiences take the place of psychological or psychiatric therapy for psychotropic medication, but rather it can complement such therapy: “These are just some of the skills and aspects they could acquire, develop and enjoy. All while receiving therapy treatment!”
First-person-view drone flying is the closest thing to soaring like a bird. It is the feeling of being airborne without ever leaving one’s armchair, which can, for many, be empowering.
Who wouldn’t want to experience such feelings?
Probably most of us, just for the fun of it.
But for others, such flying is not only fun, but therapeutic. The therapeutic benefits of flying/operating a drone, along with First Person View (FPV) flying, is very hopeful as it can bring enjoyment, hope and healing to clients and their treatment regime.
The title of this blog asks the question, “Could Drones Become A Form of Physical Therapy?” The answer is obvious: Definitely!