Comparing Heads-Up, Hands-Free Operation of Ground Robots to Teleoperation

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3 Author(s)

Today, most commercially available UGVs (unmanned ground vehicles) use teleoperation for control. Under teleoperation, users' hands are occupied holding a handheld controller to operate the UGV, and their attention is focused on what the robot is doing. In this paper, we propose an alternative called Heads-up, Hands-free Operation, which allows an operator to control a UGV using operator following behaviors and a gesture interface. We explore whether Heads-up, Hands-free Operation is an improvement over teleoperation. In a study of 30 participants, we found that when operators used these modes of interaction, they performed missions faster, they could recall their surroundings better, and they had a lower cognitive load than they did when they teleoperated the robot.