Intuitive Speech-based Robotic Control

Report No. ARL-TR-5175
Authors: Elizabeth S. Redden, Christian B. Carstens, and Rodger A. Pettitt
Date/Pages: April 2010; 50 pages
Abstract: We conducted a speech-based robotic control study using 29 Soldiers recruited from Fort Benning, GA. Findings indicated Soldiers were able to perform a secondary task (writing numbers) significantly faster when operating a robot using speech control versus using manual control. This demonstrated that robotic control requires multitasking and also implies that speech control requires less attention than manual control, thus freeing up cognitive resources for additional tasks. Speech control allowed significantly faster performance when the task involved using menu items (enlarge picture, shrink picture). Speech control allowed direct access to the menu items, whereas manual control required navigating through a menu and selecting an item two levels deep into the menu. Speech control was also significantly faster for labeling items where Soldiers had to choose and select from a list to label a picture. Alternatively, speech control took significantly longer when performing continuous tasks, such as turning the robot during the take a picture task and driving to the blue waypoint, which involved a significant amount of turning. When interpreting the results, one should consider that the intuition and speech-control portions of the experiment featured tasks that could be found in a robotic reconnaissance mission and the findings are specific to these tasks.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: April 1, 2010