The Effects of Imperfect Automation on Concurrent Performance of Gunners and Robotic Operator's Tasks in a Simulated Mounted Environment

Report No. ARL-TR-4455
Authors: Jessie Y.C. Chen and Peter I. Terrence
Date/Pages: May 2008; 50 pages
Abstract: In this study, we simulated a generic mounted environment and conducted an experiment to examine the performance and workload of the combined position of gunner and robotics operator. Aided target recognition (AiTR) (via tactile and visual cueing) with imperfect reliability (false alarm-prone versus miss-prone) was provided to the participants to aid their gunnery task. Besides the gunnery task, participants performed robotics and communication tasks concurrently. Results show that when the robotics task was simply monitoring the video feed, participants had the best performance in the other two concurrent tasks and the lowest perceived workload, compared with the other robotics tasking conditions. Our data also show that there is a strong interaction between the type of AiTR unreliability and participants' perceived attentional control. Overall, it appears that for high attentional control participants, false alarm-prone alerts were more detrimental than missprone alerts. For low attentional control participants, conversely, miss-prone automation was more harmful than false alarm-prone automation. Additionally, low spatial ability participants preferred visual cueing over tactile cueing, and high spatial ability participants favored tactile cueing over visual cueing.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: May 1, 2008