Rapid advancements in Artificial Intelligence have shifted the focus from traditional human-directed robots to fully autonomous ones that do not require explicit human control. These are commonly referred to as Human-on-the-Loop (HotL) systems. Transparency of HotL systems necessitates clear explanations of autonomous behavior so that humans are aware of what is happening in the environment and can understand why robots behave in a certain way. However, in complex multi-robot environments, especially those in which the robots are autonomous and mobile, humans may struggle to maintain situational awareness. Presenting humans with rich explanations of autonomous behavior tends to overload them with lots of information and negatively affect their understanding of the situation. Therefore, explaining the autonomous behavior of multiple robots creates a design tension that demands careful investigation. This paper examines the User Interface (UI) design trade-offs associated with providing timely and detailed explanations of autonomous behavior for swarms of small Unmanned Aerial Systems (sUAS) or drones. We analyze the impact of UI design choices on human awareness of the situation. We conducted multiple user studies with both inexperienced and expert sUAS operators to present our design solution and initial guidelines for designing the HotL multi-sUAS interface.
Scheduling and Path-Planning for Operator Oversight of Multiple Robots
There is a need for semi-autonomous systems capable of performing both automated tasks and supervised maneuvers. When dealing with multiple robots or robots with high complexity (such as humanoids), we face the issue of effectively coordinating operators across robots. We build on our previous work to present a methodology for designing trajectories and policies for robots such that a few operators can supervise multiple robots. Specifically, we: (1) Analyze the complexity of the problem, (2) Design a procedure for generating policies allowing operators to oversee many robots, (3) Present a method for designing policies and robot trajectories to allow operators to oversee multiple robots, and (4) Include both simulation and hardware experiments demonstrating our methodologies.
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