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Exploration of unknown environments remains one of the fundamental problems of mobile robotics. It is also a prime example for a task that can benefit significantly from multi-robot teams. We present an integrated system for semi-autonomous cooperative exploration, augmented by an intuitive user interface for efficient human supervision and control. In this preliminary study we demonstrate the effectiveness of the system as a whole and the intuitive interface in particular. Congruent with previous findings, results confirm that having a human in the loop improves task performance, especially with larger numbers of robots. Specific to our interface, we find that even untrained operators can efficiently manage a decently sized team of robots.
Date of Conference: 22-26 Sept. 2008