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Human-Robot Interaction Literature Review

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Research rept.

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In the field of unmanned vehicle UV systems, researchers have been striving to inverse the human-robot ratio such that one operator can control multiple robots. This goal has not yet been accomplished for military applications, despite ongoing research. Research suggests that the human-robot interaction HRI that takes place while an operator is in control of one or more UVs needs to be improved before the ratio can be inversed. This literature review covers 53 references to provide an overview of current HRI research dealing with the operation of UVs and to identify the key human factors HF issues when conducting research within this area. The literature identifies three key factors in HRI research related to operating UVs for military applications operator capacity i.e., the number and type of UVs that a human operator controls or supervises, automation implementation, and interface design. In the literature, HRI is most often measured through the three common metrics of situational awareness SA, workload, and task performance. In general, research shows that increasing operator capacity increases workload and decreases SA, while the corresponding impact on performance has been shown to be inconsistent. Automation and multimodal interfaces have been shown to alleviate some of the increased workload and decreased SA as operator capacity is increased. However, there is a complex interaction among the three variables. The literature suggests that adaptive automation and adaptive interfaces are promising solutions to accommodate this complex interaction, but further research and empirical studies are necessary before they can be implemented in military operations. Three additional characteristics of military applications also need to be investigated further one operator in control of mixed UV platforms i.e., UAVs and UGVs operators controlling UVs in a mobile environment and team coordination among multiple operators, each in control of multiple UVs.

Subject Categories:

  • Pilotless Aircraft
  • Psychology
  • Cybernetics
  • Surface Transportation and Equipment
  • Human Factors Engineering and Man Machine Systems

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