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Title:Human-robot interaction for telemanipulation by small unmanned aerial systems
Author(s):Young, Sierra Noelle
Director of Research:Peschel, Joshua
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Work, Daniel
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Bernacchi, Carl; Popovics, John
Department / Program:Civil & Environmental Eng
Discipline:Civil Engineering
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):unmanned aerial vehicle
human-robot interaction
aerial manipulation
Abstract:This dissertation investigated the human-robot interaction (HRI) for the Mission Specialist role in a telemanipulating unmanned aerial system (UAS). The emergence of commercial unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) platforms transformed the civil and environmental engineering industries through applications such as surveying, remote infrastructure inspection, and construction monitoring, which normally use UAVs for visual inspection only. Recent developments, however, suggest that performing physical interactions in dynamic environments will be important tasks for future UAS, particularly in applications such as environmental sampling and infrastructure testing. In all domains, the availability of a Mission Specialist to monitor the interaction and intervene when necessary is essential for successful deployments. Additionally, manual operation is the default mode for safety reasons; therefore, understanding Mission Specialist HRI is important for all small telemanipulating UAS in civil engineering, regardless of system autonomy and application. A 5 subject exploratory study and a 36 subject experimental study were conducted to evaluate variations of a dedicated, mobile Mission Specialist interface for aerial telemanipulation from a small UAV. The Shared Roles Model was used to model the UAS human-robot team, and the Mission Specialist and Pilot roles were informed by the current state of practice for manipulating UAVs. Three interface camera view designs were tested using a within-subjects design, which included an egocentric view (perspective from the manipulator), exocentric view (perspective from the UAV), and mixed egocentric-exocentric view. The experimental trials required Mission Specialist participants to complete a series of tasks with physical, visual, and verbal requirements. Results from these studies found that subjects who preferred the exocentric condition performed tasks 50% faster when using their preferred interface; however, interface preferences did not affect performance for participants who preferred the mixed condition. This result led to a second finding that participants who preferred the exocentric condition were distracted by the egocentric view during the mixed condition, likely caused by cognitive tunneling, and the data suggest tradeoffs between performance improvements and attentional costs when adding information in the form of multiple views to the Mission Specialist interface. Additionally, based on this empirical evaluation of multiple camera views, the exocentric view was recommended for use in a dedicated Mission Specialist telemanipulation interface. Contributions of this thesis include: i) conducting the first focused HRI study of aerial telemanipulation, ii) development of an evaluative model for telemanipulation performance, iii) creation of new recommendations for aerial telemanipulation interfacing, and iv) contribution of code, hardware designs, and system architectures to the open-source UAV community. The evaluative model provides a detailed framework, a complement to the abstraction of the Shared Roles Model, that can be used to measure the effects of changes in the system, environment, operators, and interfacing factors on performance. The practical contributions of this work will expedite the use of manipulating UAV technologies by scientists, researchers, and stakeholders, particularly those in civil engineering, who will directly benefit from improved manipulating UAV performance.
Issue Date:2018-11-08
Rights Information:Copyright 2018 Sierra Noelle Young
Date Available in IDEALS:2019-02-08
Date Deposited:2018-12

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