Archive for category Military & Law Enforcement Applications

Switch and Deliver: Display Layouts for MOMV (Multiple Operator Multiple Video feed) Environments

‘Switch and Deliver’ is a research project directed to design and develop tools/techniques and procedures to aid operators in handling Multiple Operator Multiple UAV (unmanned aerial vehicles) environments. It aims to identify what information and which tools and layouts will decrease switch-costs and improve overall mission performance. Nevertheless, most tools/techniques can be generalized to any Multiple Operator Multiple Video feed (MOMV) environments, where control of multiple video sources, task switching and/or coordination with other operators are necessary for mission success. In a paper , to be presented shortly in COGSIMA 2011, we describe a study conducted on proficient operators, examining three display layouts.where we examined how the operating interface facilitates handoffs and video feed switching among operators.

Here are examples of the Layouts we have been examining:

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  • In the Baseline layout (far left), contains  four equal sized windows: three windows show 3 different video feeds, and one window shows the C2 map. The payloads which were controlled by the user had an icon of a person on the top left side of the video.
  • In the Adaptive layout (center) window sizes change automatically according to user’s operations (i.e., time spent on window and performing operations in the window). Thus, in any defined time, the window that was most ‘active’ was larger than the other three windows.
  • In the User Controlled layout (right) , window sizes changes as well, except not automatically.  The user selected which window to enlarge. Thus, the large window was the one the user selected to enlarge.

Success rate, detection times, payload ‘energy’ (i.e., how much movement was done by the payload)  and Subjective evaluations and workload of the very experienced operators that participated in this study raised some interesting issues regarding fixed versus adaptive window size in MOMV environments.

  • This  study is only one of the many studies performed in the framework of this research project. The necessity and importance of tools in reducing operators’ workload and improving mission performance was again reinforced.   In  future studies, we plan to further explore the interactions that emerged.

Presentation title: Switch and Deliver: Display Layouts for MOMV (Multiple Operator Multiple Video feed)Environments.

Talya Porat (Ben-Gurion University, Israel)
Tal Oron-Gilad (Ben-Gurion University, Israel)
Jacob Silbiger (Synergy Integration Ltd., Israel)
Michal Rottem-Hovev (Israel Air Force, Israel)



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World View and the Worldview Assessment Instrument (WAI)

“New and improved technologies may enhance the 21st Century commander’s ability to communicate with coalition partners, but coalition efforts may still founder on the shoals of technical incompatibilities, language difficulties, cultural assymetrics, and ignorance of key historical and geopolitical issues.” R.H Scales, 2001

Can Worldviews predict differences in operators’ performance under stress (OPUS) derived from cultural differences?

If proven true,  WAI might be very relevant to Command and Control (C2) environments which are often characterized as “teams of teams”.

What are worldviews?

Worldviews are sets of assumptions about life and the physical and social worlds. The ‘lens’ through which one perceives reality. The central insight of Worldview is that personal and cultural assumptions about reality have profound effects upon thought and behavior. The WAI (Koltko-Rivera, 2004) has 6 Core Dimensions, and is designed to assess crucial aspects of worldview.

Table 1. Pole Reflected by Score

Metaphysics/ontology over 40: Spiritualist under 40: Materialist
Responsibility over 56: External under 56: Internal
Agency over 32: Voluntarist under 32: Determinist
Group over 48: Collectivist under 48: Individualist
Authority over 24: Linear under 24: Lateral
Mutability over 16: Changeable under 16: Permanent

What have we done?

  1. Translation and validation of the Hebrew version of the WAI.
  2. Administration of the WAI to 305 Israeli participants (150 males and 155 females) mean age 25 SD(6), 22 SD(7) respectively.
  3. Comparison of the results across demographic characteristics (i.e., gender, age, strength of religious believe, military service background and domain, and workplace)
  4. Comparison of the results to the American sample reported by Koltko-Rivera

Summary of findings

The results reflect differences between American and Israeli samples, as well as differences among the Israeli participants. Some of these differences (e.g., relation to group) were related to the type of military service that participants had experienced. Thus, worldview or its components can possible contribute to the understanding of team performance in applied settings.

Differences within Israeli sample

  • Ontology – Females were significantly more spiritual than males
  • Relation to group – Those who served in combat roles in the IDF were more collectivists than those who served in field jobs or administrative ones
  • Relation to authority – Females were significantly more lateral than males

Differences between American and Israeli samples

  • There were items in the American WAI that did not load to any factor in the Israeli one. Therefore some changes were required to be made in order to generate the Israeli scoring.

Specific differences by dimensions:

  • Ontology – Israeli sample more neutral, US sample more spiritual
  • Responsibility – Both samples are internal but the Israeli sample is more skewed
  • Agency – Both samples are voluntarists
  • Relation to group – Both samples lean toward individualism
  • Relation to authority – Israeli sample more neutral, US sample more lateral
  • Mutability – Both samples are neutral

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Vibrotactile Guidance Cues for Target Acquisition

This article won the Andrew P. Sage Best Transactions Paper Award for 2007

Oron-Gilad, T.; Downs, J.L.; Gilson, R.D.; Hancock, P.A.; , “Vibrotactile Guidance Cues for Target Acquisition,” Systems, Man, and Cybernetics, Part C: Applications and Reviews, IEEE Transactions on , vol.37, no.5, pp.993-1004, Sept. 2007Abstract

Three experiments examined the use of vibrotactile cues to guide an operator toward a target. Vibrotactile stimulation on the hand can provide spatially stabilizing cues for feedback of subtle changes in position. When such feedback is present, a deviation from the point of origin results in tactile stimulation indicating the direction and magnitude of the positional error. Likewise, spatial deviation from a desired position displayed tactually can provide robust position guidance and stabilization sufficient to improve the acquisition time and accuracy of fine cursor control. A major advantage of this mode of information representation is that it can be present at the same time as visual cues with minimal cross-modal interference. Our findings suggest that performance is actually enhanced when both tactile and visual cues are present. Although previous studies have suggested that various forms of tactile feedback can provide position guidance and stabilization, to our knowledge, this work is the first that details the effect of tactile feedback on target acquisition directly.

Here are some more detail about the experiments and some images:

•Experiment 1  –  focued on where to place the tactors – tactor placements on the palm versus on the back of the hand, while targets appeared to the left and right.

Participant's position and target arena

Tactors placed inside hand

Tactors placed outside hand

•Experiment 2  –  focused on the pattern of the continous tactile cues – effect of continuous relative distance cues (pulse rate of stimulus sweeps-up vs. sweeps-down as the cursor approaches the target) and on-target versus off-target tactile stimuli.
Vibrotactile cueing continuous gradient

Vibrotactile cueing continuous gradient

•Experiment 3  – focused on the effectiveness of the tactile cues, do they facilitate the entire movement of just the initial movement toeard the target and the fine tuning on target – investigate the interaction between the near-target pulse rate and on-target cues and establish if there are performance differences between discrete and continuous distance information for target selection.
Discrete tactile gradient

Discrete tactile gradient

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Human-Robot Interaction (HRI) in future military operations – The book

For those of you who are interested in the role of Human-Robot Interaction (HRI) in future military operations, Mike Barnes and Florian Jencth have recently edited a handbook titled “Human-Robot Interactions in Future Military Operations“. The book is a collection of chapters written by well recognized researchers in the area. It provides a wide range of topics from operators interacting with small ground robots and aerial vehicles to supervising large, near-autonomous vehicles capable of intelligent battlefield behaviors.

I was honored to contribute a chapter to this book. Together with my colleague and former student Yaniv Minkov we discuss the issue of “Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs) from the bottom-up operational perspective“.

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Robotic Displays For Dismounted Warfighters: A Field Study

Here is the abstract of one of my latest studies. It appears in a special issue of JCEDM “Improving Human-Robot Interaction in Complex Operational Environments: Translating Theory into Practice”

* Oron-Gilad, T., Redden, E.S. and Minkov, Y. (2011). Robotic Displays for Dismounted Warfighter Situation Awareness of Remote Locations: A field study, Journal of Cognitive Ergonomics and Decision Making. Accepted November 2010.Volume 5, Number 1, March 2011, pp. 29–54.
This study investigated scalability of unmanned vehicle displays for dismounted warfighters. Task performance, workload and preferences for three display devices were examined in two operational settings: tele-operation of an unmanned ground vehicle and intelligence gathering from a remote unmanned vehicle. Previous research has demonstrated variability in operational needs with regard to active tele-operation versus passive intelligence gathering. Thus, it was important to identify whether there was actually a dichotomy between the two in terms of screen space requirements and whether this difference stems from task differences or other factors.  Thirty-one soldiers participated in a field study at Ft. Benning, GA. They were required to perform tele-operation and intelligence gathering tasks. Results reconfirmed our hypothesis that display type influences performance in intelligence-related tasks that require the use of video feed and digital map. No significant differences among display types were found in the UGV tele-operation task. In conclusion, dismounted warfighters can adequately perform both active and passive duties with a hand held device where the video window is as small as 4.3 inches in diameter. However, monocular HMDs for robotic displays can be problematic and should be carefully assessed before use in dismounted warfighters missions.

Display devices used in the study

Display devices used in the study

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