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The Impact of Human–Automation Collaboration in Decentralized Multiple Unmanned Vehicle Control

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4 Author(s)
Cummings, M.L. ; Massachusetts Inst. of Technol., Cambridge, MA, USA ; How, J.P. ; Whitten, A. ; Toupet, O.

For future systems that require one or a small team of operators to supervise a network of automated agents, automated planners are critical since they are faster than humans for path planning and resource allocation in multivariate, dynamic, time-pressured environments. However, such planners can be brittle and unable to respond to emergent events. Human operators can aid such systems by bringing their knowledge-based reasoning and experience to bear. Given a decentralized task planner and a goal-based operator interface for a network of unmanned vehicles in a search, track, and neutralize mission, we demonstrate with a human-on-the-loop experiment that humans guiding these decentralized planners improved system performance by up to 50%. However, those tasks that required precise and rapid calculations were not significantly improved with human aid. Thus, there is a shared space in such complex missions for human-automation collaboration.

Published in:

Proceedings of the IEEE  (Volume:100 ,  Issue: 3 )

Date of Publication:

March 2012

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