Research Topic

Teams can perform better than individuals in many tasks, but can a team of two robot operators perform better than two operators working individually? Will a “divide and conquer” strategy be more effective than just adding more operators? What types of tasks can benefit from a team command structure?

In order to test this, I am using a simulated world with a large number (~40) of simulated robots to see if a team of operators can do better by working together than they can working separately. Their task will be to find explosive devices in the environment under various conditions.

This research has potential implications in many areas such as robot supervisory control and business management.

Current Work

- Working on polishing my home-brew Player/Stage replacement simulator and integrating it with the interface.

- Researching business management research on “manager fan-out” in so far as it is somewhat analogous to operator fan-out

- Researching Queuing theory in order to better form arguments and theories as to why multiple operators might be able to do better than one


- Create server module in simulator to connect to the interface

- Finish & fine tune path planning algorithm for robots and local navigation between waypoints (potential fields?)

- Add (simulated) explosive devices to simulator and send back chemical sensor readings to interface

- Add “workspace awareness” support into the interface so that the two operators can know what the other is doing

- Research more good STUFF (organizational behavior, group dynamics, distributed groupware design principles, Air traffic control, etc.)

Future Work

Once my initial user study is done (preferably showing that there is indeed a benefit to a team of operators working together through distributed groupware) I hope to have time to run another user study focused on evaluating the usefulness of different interface features that support coordination between operators.

hcmi/jon-whetten.txt · Last modified: 2014/08/13 20:52 by tlund1
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