Abstract: Today, most commercially available UGVs use teleoperation for control.
Under teleoperation, users’ hands are tied up holding a hand-held
controller to operate the UGV, and their attention is focused on what
the robot is doing. In this talk, I will describe iRobot’s work on an
alternative to teleoperation 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. Heads-up, Hands-free Operation is
enabled through the use of embedded computer vision technologies.