17 May 2013 Multimodal interaction for human-robot teams
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Unmanned ground vehicles have the potential for supporting small dismounted teams in mapping facilities, maintaining security in cleared buildings, and extending the team’s reconnaissance and persistent surveillance capability. In order for such autonomous systems to integrate with the team, we must move beyond current interaction methods using heads-down teleoperation which require intensive human attention and affect the human operator’s ability to maintain local situational awareness and ensure their own safety. This paper focuses on the design, development and demonstration of a multimodal interaction system that incorporates naturalistic human gestures, voice commands, and a tablet interface. By providing multiple, partially redundant interaction modes, our system degrades gracefully in complex environments and enables the human operator to robustly select the most suitable interaction method given the situational demands. For instance, the human can silently use arm and hand gestures for commanding a team of robots when it is important to maintain stealth. The tablet interface provides an overhead situational map allowing waypoint-based navigation for multiple ground robots in beyond-line-of-sight conditions. Using lightweight, wearable motion sensing hardware either worn comfortably beneath the operator’s clothing or integrated within their uniform, our non-vision-based approach enables an accurate, continuous gesture recognition capability without line-of-sight constraints. To reduce the training necessary to operate the system, we designed the interactions around familiar arm and hand gestures.
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Dustin Burke, Dustin Burke, Nathan Schurr, Nathan Schurr, Jeanine Ayers, Jeanine Ayers, Jeff Rousseau, Jeff Rousseau, John Fertitta, John Fertitta, Alan Carlin, Alan Carlin, Danielle Dumond, Danielle Dumond, "Multimodal interaction for human-robot teams", Proc. SPIE 8741, Unmanned Systems Technology XV, 87410E (17 May 2013); doi: 10.1117/12.2016334; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2016334

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