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An Augmented Virtuality Display for Improving UAV Usability

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Unmanned Air Vehicles UAVs promise to change the way we think about aircraft and airspace and they are being used in many different environments everything from entertainment to search and rescue operations. One thing common amongst the different UAV platforms is that all use very difficult user interfaces. These interfaces have been designed by engineers and roboticists who do not have training in incorporating the needs of end users. This research involves developing an innovative interface for UAVs that improves situation awareness for the user and demonstrating its effectiveness. Existing UAV interfaces are almost always targeted towards experienced pilots, engineers, or someone who is an expert in both of those fields. The result is interfaces which are confusing and difficult to use for someone who isnt an expert in these areas. The UAV pilots interface is usually just a copy of an aircraft cockpit presented to the user. For someone with a great deal of experience looking at the various dials and gauges this can be helpful, but the experience of flying a UAV is not completely analogous to flying a manned aircraft, which involves associating the feeling of flight to the controls. When flying a UAV there is no feedback in the user s body to indicate what is happening with the aircraft, which makes it difficult to understand what the aircraft is doing. In contrast to a pilot, an engineer who is developing and troubleshooting the UAV and its interface needs access to different elements of the aircraft s status, such as the status of the internal computer, tuning parameters, and servo positions. These elements are usually displayed in a list or a table. Once the aircraft can fly, this information is no longer as important and its presence in the display causes unnecessary complexity for UAV pilots.

Subject Categories:

  • Pilotless Aircraft
  • Human Factors Engineering and Man Machine Systems

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