Soldier Performance in a Moving Command Vehicle Under Manned, Teleoperated, and Teleoperated Cruise Control Modes Under Day and Night Conditions

Report No. ARL-TR-6450
Authors: David R. Scribner;Asi Animashaun; William Culbertson
Date/Pages: May 2013; 52 pages
Abstract: Soldiers will be required to perform missions using remote technology with increasing frequency as the U.S. Army transforms. Teleoperation requires that Soldiers perform missions that will require them to be at greater standoff distances at the cost of degraded sensory information and resulting limited system performance. Historically, teleoperated systems have had capabilities that are twice the error rate and time required to perform a mission. This is due to the limited field of view, depth perception, vestibular cues, and other immersion reducing characteristics of remote operation. The need to provide operational improvements to the historically degraded teleoperation mode is being recognized by the U.S. Army in many areas, including route clearing and mine detection systems. The Rabbit 2.0 system allows several modes of operation that are purported to reduce Soldier workload. These modes include manned operation, teleoperation, and teleoperation with cruise control. The study was designed to examine these modes of operation, comparing the subjective workload, stress, and motion sickness as well as course completion time, average speed, and driving error in terms of lateral drift. Soldiers operated the Rabbit 2.0 system over a secondary course while maintaining proper speed and road edge following in all three modes under both day and night conditions. Data for vehicle position and speed were collected at a rate of 5 Hz while subjective ratings of workload, stress, and motion sickness were collected at the end-points of the course runs. Participants were four U.S. Army Soldiers recruited from the 10th Mountain Division. Separate ANOVA analyses were used for day and night conditions. ANOVAs revealed significant differences for the effects of control mode on workload for both day and night conditions as well as for the effect of speed on lateral drift distances. Subjective ratings of accelerator quality were affected by mode for both day and night conditions. Video display and speedometer quality ratings were noted as poorer under night conditions for both teleoperated modes.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: May 1, 2013