|A new publication co-authored by Dr. Hagai Tapiro and Prof. Yisrael Parmet.
So often are we reminded about distraction from devices, cell phones or earphones. Yet, the environment we walk in can also have a detrimental effect on our road crossing safety. In this study we show that:
Abstract: Pedestrians are subject to an increasing number of stimuli and distractions derived from the roadside environment. Although the effect of distractions on child road crossing ability was recognized, there has been no systematic exploration of the effects of roadside distractions on child road crossing behavior. This work was aimed at studying the effect of roadside distractions on pedestrian road crossing behavior, focusing on elementary school-aged children, who are less capable of making a safe road crossing decision and are more vulnerable to the effect of distractions. Three types of audio distractions (a. sudden, momentary, and prominent noise, b. multiplicity of auditory elements, and c. continuous loud noise) and similar three types of visual distractions were pre-defined. Fifty-two children (aged 7–13) and adults arrived at the dome virtual reality laboratory and viewed 20 simulated crossing scenarios, embedded with visual and auditory distractions, and decided on the appropriate time to start crossing the virtual road. The results demonstrate that when exposed to environmental distractions, participants chose smaller crossing gaps, took more time to make crossing decisions, were slower to respond to the crossing opportunity, and allocated less visual attention to the peripheral regions of the road. Those effects were age related, and affected younger participants more significantly. Furthermore, visual distractions affected pedestrian behavior more than auditory type distractions. This study highlights an issue not yet adequately addressed, and the results should be considered by transportation professionals, and road safety educators, so better road safety programs to educate children can be created.
the final version of your article Pedestrians’ road crossing decisions and body parts’ movements is now available online, containing full bibliographic details.
- Road-crossing simulator synched with a 3D motion capturing system was built
- Time pressure and longer wait times cause riskier crossing decisions
- Pedestrians adjusted posture, crossing speed and timing of crossing to the risk taken
- Body parts’ movement prior to the crossing can be divided into four increments
In this study we examined pedestrians’ crossing decision, body parts’ movement and full body movement, just before and during road crossing in a simulated setup. To accomplish this, a novel experimental setup for analyzing pedestrians’ crossing behavior and motion was developed where the simulated display was synchronized with a 3D motion capturing system. Twenty participants, divided into control and an experimental time pressure group, observed sixteen short (less than 30 seconds) and long road (70 seconds or more) crossing scenarios with varying crossing opportunities. Based on the crossing opportunities they were asked to cross a 3.6 m wide one-lane one way urban road. It was found that the crossing initiation process consists of four incremental movements of body parts: the head and the shoulder first; the hip, wrist and elbow second; the knee as a separate joint, and finally the ankle. Results showed that pedestrians’ decision to cross and body parts movement are influenced by time pressure and wait time for a safe crossing opportunity. Specifically, pedestrians prepare their body parts earlier, initiate their crossing earlier, and adjust their speed to compensate for the risk taken in less safe or non-safe crossing opportunities. Within the control group, women tended to be more risk avoiding than men, however those differences disappeared in the time pressure group. Most importantly, the findings provide initial evidence that this novel simulation configuration can be used to gain precise knowledge of pedestrians’ decision-making and movement processes.
What did we learn about pedestrians crossing movement?
Pedestrians change their strategy as a function of internal and external reasons:
- Take higher risk when crossing opportunities are sparse or when they are under time pressure
- Prepare their movement in advance by adjusting body position
- Change the timing of crossing as a function of perceived risk
- Adjust their crossing speed to the perceived risk
Kalantarov, S. , Riemer, R., Oron-Gilad, T. (in press). Pedestrians’ road crossing decisions and body parts’ movements. Transportation Research Part F: Psychology and Behaviour.
Come meet us at Ro-Man 2017, where Dr, Vardit Sarne-Fleischmann and Shanee Honig will present our work on Gesture vocabulary for a person following robot.
Abstract— Robots that are designed to support people in different tasks at home and in public areas need to be able to recognize user’s intentions and operate accordingly. To date, research has been mostly concentrated on developing the technological capabilities of the robot and the mechanism of recognition. Still, little is known about navigational commands that could be intuitively communicated by people in order control a robot’s movement. A two-part exploratory study was conducted in order to evaluate how people naturally guide the motion of a robot and whether an existing gesture vocabulary used for human-human communication can be applied to human-robot interaction. Fourteen participants were first asked to demonstrate ten different navigational commands while interacting with a Pioneer robot using a WoZ technique. In the second part of the study participants were asked to identify eight predefined commands from the U.S. Army vocabulary. Results show that simple commands yielded higher consistency among participants regarding the commands they demonstrated. Also, voice commands were more frequent than using gestures, though a combination of both was sometimes more dominant for certain commands. In the second part, an inconsistency of identification rates for opposite commands was observed. The results of this study could serve as a baseline for future developed commands vocabulary promoting a more natural and intuitive human-robot interaction style.
We are excited to present our studies in the 10th University Transportation Centers Spotlight Conference on Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety to be held December 1-2 ,2016 in the Keck Center, Washington DC.
Here is a link to a short description of the BGU pedestrian laboratory.pedestrian-lab-brochure and to a short brief about the work we are presenting (Child Pedestrians’ perceived risk of the crossing place).
Close Target Reconnaissance: A Field Evaluation of Dismounted Soldiers Utilizing Video Feed From an Unmanned Ground Vehicle in Patrol Missions
Oron-Gilad and Parmet (2016) in the Journal of Cognitive Engineering and Decision Making.
- How is the decision cycle of dismounted soldiers affected by the use of a display device displaying video feed from an unmanned ground vehicle in a patrol mission?
- Via a handheld monocular display, participants received a route map and sensor imagery from the vehicle that was ~20–50 m ahead.
- Twenty-two male participants were divided into two groups, with or without the sensor imagery. Each participant navigated for 2 km in a MOUT training facility, while encountering civilians, moving and stationary suspects, and improvised explosive devices.
- Boyd’s OODA loop (observe–orient–decide–act) framework was used to examine
- The experimental group was slower to respond to threats and to orient. They also reported higher workload, more difficulties in allocating their attention to their environment, and more frustration.
- The breakdown of performance metrics into the OODA loop components revealed the major difficulties in the decision-making process and highlighted the need for new roles in combat-team setups and for additional training when unmanned vehicle sensor imagery is introduced.
•• The use of a handheld monocular device for intelligence gathering of information from a UGV affected participants’ ability to detect events with their own eyes.
•• Soldiers were aware of the toll that display devices had on their operational mission, yet it continuously attracted their attention.
•• Soldiers must gain understanding of the capabilities and limitations of the unmanned vehicle and its sensor video; they should be able to control the pace of its progress.
•• Team setups, where only limited designated roles attend to the sensor video and more than one individual attends to the immediate environment, may be a better setup for utilization of the technology.
SOCRATES see project recruitment-poster
With Prof. Yael Edan, we are looking for a Ph.D. student in Human-Robot Interaction Design. The research topic will be: Interaction design for varying levels of automation
Ben-Gurion University is seeking outstanding candidates for a PhD student position in Interaction design for varying levels of automation, at the Department of Industrial Engineering and Management. BGU is an internationally recognized research university that attracts outstanding faculty and researchers from around the world with over 19,000 students. The Industrial Engineering and Management Dept. at BGU includes multidisciplinary faculty with expertise in operations research, applied statistics, intelligent systems, human factors engineering, and information systems. Advanced innovative multidisciplinary robotics research at BGU is conducted under the auspices of the ABC Robotics Initiative.
The recruitment is done as part of SOCRATES (SOcial Cognitive Robotic Agents in The European Society), a new Marie Skłodowska-Curie European Training Network (ETN) comprising of 7 universities/research institutes: Umeå University and Örebro University in Sweden, Universität Hamburg and Fraunhofer IPA, Stuttgart in Germany, CSIC Barcelona in Spain, University West of England, and Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Israel. Additional non-academic partners are: Pal Robotics, Adele Robots, Alfred Nobel Science Park, Urquhart-Dykes & Lord LLP, Center for Digital Innovation, UMINOVA, Asea Brown Boveri, S.A, and Fundació ACE.
In total 15 Early Stage Researchers (ESRs) will be recruited as PhD students for research on various aspects of social robotics aiming at eldercare. The wide range of projects covers a spectrum from technical design of hardware and interaction methodology, to personalization, user studies, and robot ethics. The researchers will receive training in both academic and entrepreneurial spirit and expertise, well suited for a career in both academy and industry. The training includes a research project, courses, seminars, and workshops. An overview of all available positions can be found at www.socrates-project.eu.
This Research project: Within the realm of assistive robotics for the elderly, the Ph.D. student will aim to develop advanced human-robot interfaces and means of interaction for dynamically changing situations. The focus is on means to improve coordination between users and their robots, and allow the user and the robot to operate as a team with varying levels of control and autonomy, dependent on the context and tasks, in particular in robot learning scenarios. The user involvement and hence the Interaction Quality will vary as a result of the learning progress. This is particularly important to consider when the robot interacts with older adults who have difficulties in identifying changes in the robot’s behavior.
The student will visit Örebro University and the Ängen test facility in Sweden to record and analyze user acceptance for different interface and interaction designs and modalities. Specific experiments will be designed so as to simulate the different types of feedback and changing levels of interaction. These will be implemented on robots in different use-case scenarios with older adults and for different modalities and means of interaction. The research will also include two secondments; one to Bristol Robotics Labs, UK to investigate the relation between adaptive safety control and the human-robot interface design, and one industrial secondment to ADELE Robots, to investigate practical case studies.
About the position: The successful applicant will receive a competitive salary for a period of three years of full time research, provided that the expected study and research results are achieved. No teaching is expected. The salary will be based on the standard Marie Skłodowska-Curie Early-Stage Researcher living and mobility allowances. Expected starting date is 1st of April 2017.
Admission requirements:The applicants must have completed their MSc or MA thesis in Engineering, Computer Sciences, Psychology, or Cognitive science. The applicant must be skilled in both oral and written communication in English, be able to work independently as well as in collaboration with others. We are looking for candidates with strong technical and programming skills. Experience in robotics, human factors, machine learning and statistics are merits. Candidates should have interest in studying human-robot interaction (although should not necessarily have background in such topics) and be passionate about learning and developing knowledge in a novel and exciting area.
Once approved by BGU’s SOCRATES graduate committee the student must be accepted to BGU’s Kreitman graduate school (http://in.bgu.ac.il/en/kreitman_school/Pages/admission.aspx) and obtain a visa and working permit according to the Israeli Ministry of Interior requirements. The candidate must submit a research proposal and go through a Qualification Exam within one year of studies on his/her research proposal.
To promote mobility, the following rule applies: at the time of recruitment, the applicants must not have resided or carried out their main activity in Israel for more than 12 months during the last 3 years. Compulsory national service, work in international organizations, and short stays such as holidays are not taken into account. The applicants must not, at the time of recruitment, have spent more than 4 years doing research, and must not have been awarded a doctoral degree.
Application – a complete application should contain the following documents:
- A cover letter including a description of your research interests, your reasons to apply for the position, and your contact information.
- A curriculum vitae.
- Copies of degree certificates, including documentation of completed academic courses and obtained grades.
- Copy of completed MSc or MA thesis and other original research publications.
- Contact information for three persons willing to act as references (including your thesis advisor).
- Documentation of programming skills and software development experience.
Applications must be submitted electronically to the following email by November 30, 2016.
Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.
For general information about the SOCRATES project, please contact: Prof. Thomas Hellström – firstname.lastname@example.org