This talk will discuss the use of unmanned land, sea, and aerial systems for civil and environmental engineering with specific focus on the human-robot interaction necessary for these types of systems to be of practical use in the field. A new human-robot interface for ad hoc Mission Specialists that provides role-specific visual common ground and permits shared control of the robot’s payload camera and verbal coordination with the Pilot will be discussed. Results from field experiments with 26 ad hoc responders show that the new interface provides greater role empowerment and up to two times faster task completion for untrained users. Formative observations from the field studies suggest: i) establishing common ground is both verbal and visual, ii) type of coordination (active or passive) preferred by the Mission Specialist is affected by command-level experience and perceived responsibility for the robot, and iii) a separate Pilot role is necessary regardless of preferred coordination type. This research is of importance to human-robot interaction researchers and practitioners, as well as those in the fields of robotics, human-computer interaction, and artificial intelligence, because it found that a human Pilot role is necessary for assistance and understanding, and that there are hidden dependencies in the human-robot team that affect Mission Specialist performance. Additional future directions for this research will be discussed.
Dr. Joshua Peschel received a B.S. in Biological Systems Engineering, a M.S. in Biological and Agricultural Engineering, and Ph.D. in Computer Science in 2001, 2004, and 2012, respectively, from Texas A&M University. He is currently a Research Assistant Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Director of the Human-Infrastructure Interaction Lab at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Prior to his Ph.D. studies, Dr. Peschel worked for three years as an engineering consultant in Mexico and China on environmental and water resources problems for large agricultural operations. He also worked at the U.S. Naval Undersea Warfare Center in Newport, Rhode Island and most recently was a Ph.D. student member of Robin Murphy’s Center for Robot-Assisted Search and Rescue at Texas A&M. Dr. Peschel’s current research interests are in human-computer interaction and human-robot interaction for civil and environmental systems; specifically he is focused on understanding how human factors can be leveraged to support adoption of emerging technologies such as unmanned systems and intelligent user interfaces for long-term resilience in cities.
Free and open to the public, the Research Exchange Seminar Series is a weekly roundtable of presentations and discussions that highlight ways to frame and tackle societal-scale research issues in health care, energy, infrastructure, data & democracy and many other topics.
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