Would-be pilots had the chance to put their skills to the test by flying drones in the skies above Preston as part of the Harris Flights exhibition.
Researchers from the Media Innovation Studio and the University of Central Lancashire’s Aerospace Centre were showcasing their Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, which have been used in pioneering rescue operations.
People had a chance to pilot the quad-copter drones, which are fitted with HD cameras, using a mobile phone app.
Clare Cook, social media researcher, said: “We were delighted to see so many people interested in drones and so eager to try out their piloting skills.
“It was a real educational opportunity for them to interact with this technology and also ask lots of great questions about what they should be used for.”
The technology was recently used in a mountain search and rescue in Patterdale. A virtual team of mountain rescuers was mobilised to help mountain rescue teams find a missing walker by tagging images.
The public were invited to get involved by tracking the operation online and it proved a big hit.
The projects are part of a larger commitment from the researchers to test drones for civil use and initial success has left the researchers eager to develop further.
The Harris Flights project, in which UCLan was a major partner, is drawing to a close after a month of varied exhibitions and displays, many of which have involved audience participation.