Soldier-Robot Teaming: Effects of Multimodal Collaboration on Team Communication for Robot Reconnaissance

Report No. ARL-TR-5385
Authors: Shaun Hutchins, Keryl Cosenzo, Michael Barnes, Theodric Feng, and Krishna Pillalamarri
Date/Pages: October 2010; 30 pages
Abstract: The impacts on performance of three different forms of communication (radio, chat, and tactile belt) were explored in the context of a small unmanned ground vehicle (SUGV) target identification task. The target identification task required a commander with knowledge of target locations and access to a digital map displaying the current SUGV position and orientation to direct a Soldier remotely operating the SUGV to the targets using a finite set of 11 commands. The study revealed no evidence of a loss of Soldier performance using the tactile belt communications channel. The finding suggests that the tactile use of haptic signals may be feasible, a potentially important finding for situations requiring covert communications.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: October 1, 2010