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22 April 2020 Human swarm interaction using plays, audibles, and a virtual spokesperson
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Abstract
This study explores two hypotheses about human-agent teaming: 1. Real-time coordination among a large set of autonomous robots can be achieved using predefined "plays" which define how to execute a task, and "audibles" which modify the play on the fly. 2. A spokesperson agent can serve as a representative for a group of robots, relaying information between the robots and human teammates. These hypotheses are tested in a simulated game environment: a human participant leads a search-and-rescue operation to evacuate a town threatened by an approaching wildfire, with the object of saving as many lives as possible. The participant communicates verbally with a virtual agent controlling a team of ten aerial robots and one ground vehicle, while observing a live map display with real-time location of the fire and identified survivors. Since full automation is not currently possible, two human controllers control the agent's speech and actions, and input parameters to the robots, which then operate autonomously until the parameters are changed. Designated plays include monitoring the spread of fire, searching for survivors, broadcasting warnings, guiding residents to safety, and sending the rescue vehicle. A successful evacuation of all the residents requires personal intervention in some cases (e.g., stubborn residents) while delegating other responsibilities to the spokesperson agent and robots, all in a rapidly changing scene. The study records the participants' verbal and nonverbal behavior in order to identify strategies people use when communicating with robotic swarms, and to collect data for eventual automation.
Conference Presentation
© (2020) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Patricia Chaffey, Ron Artstein, Kallirroi Georgila, Kimberly A. Pollard, Setareh Nasihati Gilani, David M. Krum, David Nelson, Kevin Huynh, Alesia Gainer, Seyed Hossein Alavi, Rhys Yahata, Anton Leuski, Volodymyr Yanov, and David Traum "Human swarm interaction using plays, audibles, and a virtual spokesperson", Proc. SPIE 11413, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning for Multi-Domain Operations Applications II, 114130V (22 April 2020); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2557573
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