Weapon-Centric Graphic Controller User Evaluation

Report No. ARL-TR-4909
Authors: Elizabeth S. Redden; Daniel D. Turner; Christian B. Carstens; David E. Miller
Date/Pages: August 2009; 86 pages
Abstract: The purpose of this research was to provide feedback to the designers of dismounted warfighter input devices on the performance and suitability of four different weapon-centric graphic control (WGC) designs. The Human Research and Engineering Directorate of the U.S. Army Research Laboratory's Fort Benning Field Element was requested by the Technology, Systems, and Program Integration Directorate (TSPID) within Natick to perform this research. The experiment took place at Fort Benning, GA, using 48 Soldiers from the 3/11th Infantry Regiment. Four prototype WGC configurations were investigated, and each came in joystick and trackball versions (a total of eight devices).

The tasks that were used to evaluate the WGCs required the participants to use the full range of controls (continuous and discrete controls) as well as perform simultaneous actions with both control types. After training, each Soldier completed exercises using the eight different input configurations. The WGC configurations were evaluated for effects on task performance and usability (based on objective performance data, data collector observations and ratings, and Soldier questionnaires). Both objective performance and subjective ratings indicated that the trackball system mounted on the forward pistol grip was the best item evaluated in terms of speed and accuracy.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: August 1, 2009