The effects of road environment complexity and age on pedestrian’s visual attention and crossing behavior
Work on pedestrian distraction co-authored with Hagai Tapiro and Yisrael Parmet
Introduction: Little is known how the characteristics of the environment affect pedestrians’ road crossing behavior. Method: In this work, the effect of typical urban visual clutter created by objects and elements in the road proximity (e.g., billboards) on adults and children (aged 9–13) road crossing behavior was examined in a controlled laboratory environment, utilizing virtual reality scenarios projected on a large dome screen. Results: Divided into three levels of visual load, results showed that high visual load affected children’s and adults’ road crossing behavior and visual attention. The main effect on participants’ crossing decisions was seen in missed crossing opportunities. Children and adults missed more opportunities to cross the road when exposed to more cluttered road environments. An interaction with age was found in the dispersion of the visual attention measure. Children, 9–10 and 11–13 years old, had a wider spread of gazes across the scene when the environment was highly loaded—an effect not seen with adults. However, unexpectedly, no other indication of the deterring effect was found in the current study. Still, according to the results, it is reasonable to assume that busier road environments can be more hazardous to adult and child pedestrians. Practical Applications: In that context, it is important to further investigate the possible distracting effect of causal objects in the road environment on pedestrians, and especially children. This knowledge can help to create better safety guidelines for children and assist urban planners in creating safer urban environments.
Not very many posts in 2019 but this does not mean that we have not conducted some really interesting research in our lab. On the contrary
So, over the next few weeks I will begin posting some of our most recent accomplishments.
Here is just one:
Closing the feedback loop – the relationship between input and output modalities in HRI, presentation at the Human Friendly Robotics workshop in Rome 2019
At last its out in the public. This study co-authored by Jen Thropp, James Szalma and PA Hancock investigates how and if LOA (level of automation) should be calibrated in individuals’ traits (specifically here, attentional control).
Towards a Taxonomy of Vibro-Tactile Cues for Operational Missions, a poster presented by Nuphar Katzman
Abstract. The present study is aimed to serve as a preliminary stage in the examination and implementation of a taxonomy of vibro-tactile cues for operational missions. Previous researches showed that using the tactile modality can help increase soldiers’ performance in terms of response time, accuracy in navigation and communication under busy conditions and/or high workload. The experimental pilot reported here focuses on how users (infantry soldiers) perceive tactile cues in terms of implication and urgency during such missions. Fifteen reserve soldiers completed a navigation mission in a virtual environment. During the navigation they received random tactile cues and were asked to assess the suitability of each cue to a specific context. At the end of the session, participants filled a subjective questionnaire about their experience with the tactile cues. Results revealed three (out of five) superior cues, in terms of accurate identification and consistent association. This work provides the foundation to further develop a taxonomy of tactile cues for information types in operational missions. Future work should examine the identification of cues and their associated meanings when the relevant events occur in the simulation and outside in field tests.
Here is a new publication from our lab. This is a literature review that is focused on person-following in robotics from the perspective of the user. Published in IEEE THMS.
I began working as a lecturer (academic tenure-track position) at BGU in 2006. When I arrived, there was a researcher website that new faculty were required to complete. I was relatively young at the time, and new to the system, but I remembered a tip given to me by my advisor and mentor, the distinguished P.A. Hancock. Long time before the “me too” campaign, Peter pointed out that in order to counter prejudice and bias of reviewers towards females, female researchers should avoid writing their full names on grant and article submissions and use initials instead (e.g., Jennifer is better off signing J.). Since my name is Tal (morning dew in Hebrew), and Tal is a common name for both genders in Israel, I could still use my name without hesitation.
Back to the story, the BGU website (Researcher profile) required filling the date of birth and place of birth. With Peter’s tip in mind and some notion of privacy, I decided not to fill my year of birth (I did not want anyone to think that I was too young :) or place. It so happened that since I did not fill this information, the default was filled instead. And so I found that in 2006, I was born in Uganda in 1921!!! Why Uganda? My guess is that it is because Uganda in Hebrew begins with an Aleph (the first alphabetical letter in Hebrew) so probably it was the first country on the list. Why 1921? probably the eldest faculty member in the BGU system at the time?!
This research profile seemed to have a life of its own, at some point, it was not possible to edit the system anymore, it became outdated and was replaced by another Profiler. But somehow, it still seemed to draw some information from the BGU system: note that at some point my year of birth changed to 1926, somewhere in 2013, when I was promoted to Associate professor, this information was updated as well, and in 2015 when I became the department Chair, that also was included in my academic position list. What did not change? everything else, my research interests, my research projects because I no longer had access to the system.
Not long after I arrived at BGU, researchers were asked to fill information on another researcher profile. I do not recall exactly when, but the picture tells that it was quite close to the time I arrived (2006). A close look at this profile, which I can no longer update either, shows again the confusion: I am a professor and a senior lecturer at the same time :), I am also the head of the department (since 2015), but nothing else seems right. And why would anyone care that 15 years ago, in 2003, I finished my PhD under the supervision of David Shinar? Is this really the most important information on a researcher’s website?
Recently (2017), I was invited to give a lecture somewhere. My host introduced me as Prof. Oron-Gilad and then someone from the crowd said: why are you calling yourself a professor, you are only a senior lecturer, I saw it on your website.
Lastly, to end the story with some optimism, by the end of 2017, BGU has launched a new research profiling system. So far it is current and can be updated by the researchers (Yeah!). But, its hard to find the profiles because they were not indexed yet or linked to the BGU website. At least here everything is up to date, for now.
Take home message: Not everything you see is true.