Human factors analysis of automated planning technologies for human-robot teaming

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Humans and robots need to work together as a team to accomplish certain shared goals due to the limitations of current robot capabilities. Human assistance is required to accomplish the

Humans and robots need to work together as a team to accomplish certain shared goals due to the limitations of current robot capabilities. Human assistance is required to accomplish the tasks as human capabilities are often better suited for certain tasks and they complement robot capabilities in many situations. Given the necessity of human-robot teams, it has been long assumed that for the robotic agent to be an effective team member, it must be equipped with automated planning technologies that helps in achieving the goals that have been delegated to it by their human teammates as well as in deducing its own goal to proactively support its human counterpart by inferring their goals. However there has not been any systematic evaluation on the accuracy of this claim.

In my thesis, I perform human factors analysis on effectiveness of such automated planning technologies for remote human-robot teaming. In the first part of my study, I perform an investigation on effectiveness of automated planning in remote human-robot teaming scenarios. In the second part of my study, I perform an investigation on effectiveness of a proactive robot assistant in remote human-robot teaming scenarios.

Both investigations are conducted in a simulated urban search and rescue (USAR) scenario where the human-robot teams are deployed during early phases of an emergency response to explore all areas of the disaster scene. I evaluate through both the studies, how effective is automated planning technology in helping the human-robot teams move closer to human-human teams. I utilize both objective measures (like accuracy and time spent on primary and secondary tasks, Robot Attention Demand, etc.) and a set of subjective Likert-scale questions (on situation awareness, immediacy etc.) to investigate the trade-offs between different types of remote human-robot teams. The results from both the studies seem to suggest that intelligent robots with automated planning capability and proactive support ability is welcomed in general.