Soldier-Robot Team Communication: An Investigation of Exogenous Orienting Visual Display Cues and Robot Reporting Preferences

Report No. ARL-TR-8292
Authors: Daniel J Barber; Julian Abich IV; Andrew B Talone; Elizabeth Phillips; Florian Jentsch; Rodger Pettitt; Linda R Elliott
Date/Pages: February 2018; 88 pages
Abstract: As more focus is directed at technology for the future dismounted warfighter, new autonomous systems are being developed to enable bidirectional Soldier???robot dialogue. These autonomous systems implement multimodal communication methods to ensure communication robustness across operational environments. This research investigation had 2 major focuses: 1) investigate the use of exogenous orienting visual cues during unidirectional communication from a robot to a Soldier through a visual display and 2) investigate Soldier preferences for robot reporting of status information. Results under the first focus showed the longer it took to respond to a visual report, the higher the associated perceived workload and the lower the usability preference. Results under the second focus showed that the frequency with which participants expected status updates differed depending upon the difficulty of the primary task. In addition, most participants (75%) quickly and consistently identified a preferred report format (image or text). Recommendations for visual display designs are provided as well as suggestions for instantiating reporting capabilities within future robot teammates.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: February 1, 2018