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Usage of Autonomy Features in USAR Human-Robot Teams

Benoit Larochelle; Geert-Jan Kruijff; Jurriaan van Diggelen
In: International Journal of Robotics and Automation (IJRA), Vol. 4, No. 2, Pages 0-0, CSC Journals, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 8/2013.


This paper presents the results of a high-fidelity urban search and rescue (USAR) simulation at a firefighting training site. The NIFTi was system used, which consisted of a semi-autonomous ground robot, a remote-controlled flying robot, a multiview multimodal operator control unit (OCU), and a tactical-level system for mission planning. From a remote command post, firefighters could interact with the robots through the OCU and with a rescue team in person and via radio. They participated in 40-minute reconnaissance missions and showed that highly autonomous features are not easily accepted in the socio-technological context. In fact, the operators drove three times more manually than with any level of autonomy. The paper identifies several factors, such reliability, trust, and transparency that require improvement if end-users are to delegate control to the robots, irrespective of how capable the robots are in such missions.


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