New Command and Control Methods for Proximal Interaction between Soldiers and Robots
5D ROBOTICS INC CARLSBAD CA
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This paper addresses soldier assessments of new methods of interaction with robots. Assessments were needed to support new capabilities requested in a Joint Urgent Operational Needs Statement JUONS for the U.S. Army Rapid Equipping Force REF to lighten the load for soldiers in Afghanistan. Two real-world user assessments indicate the potential for a new form of command and control based not on maps or global positioning system GPS but on proximal interaction using lead and follow behaviors. The assessments include a variety of subjective and objective data indicating the benefit of the approach for dismounted route clearance operations on long patrols. Results indicate the value of having robots follow and lead dismounted troops as well forming a wagon train with multiple robots. The research indicates that it is possible to meet the requirement that robots require less than 5 of the soldiers workload and can keep up with the patrol for an entire day. From a command and control perspective, the novel aspect of the technology is that the workload requirement was met without dependence on the traditional command and control approaches of GPS-based navigation or teleoperation. Other key performance metrics include maintaining an average operational tempo of over 2 mph for 15 miles of varied terrain, including wooded trails, open fields, and urban environments.
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