Human Factors Issues When Operating Underwater Remotely Operated Vehicles and Autonomous Underwater Vehicles
DEFENCE RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT TORONTO (CANADA)
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There has been a great deal of human factors research on unmanned air vehicles UAVs and unmanned ground vehicles UGVs in large due to a high number of operator related mishaps. However, there is very little research examining the unique human factors problems associated with unmanned underwater vehicles UUVs. The lack of research is surprising as there are frequent anecdotal accounts ROV entanglement, collisions, and failures. In addition, militaries are now using UUVs for search and rescue and mine countermeasure MCM operations and in the future, UUVs will take on critical roles in intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance ISR, anti-submarine warfare ASW and even time critical strike operations. In this paper, it is argued that the underwater environment presents unique challenges to operating UUVs that are different from the challenges of UGV and UAV systems. Several common human factors problems are discussed when using UUVs, including the loss of sensory cues and spatial awareness, the control of the remote vehicle, problems with situation awareness and workload, problems with trust in automation, and challenges with human robot communication. In each case, these issues are discussed with respect to underwater operations.
- Human Factors Engineering and Man Machine Systems