Posts Tagged Military & Law Enforcement Applications

HFES 2015

At the HFES Annual meeting we presented two studies related to interfaces for dismounted soldiers.

Tactile Interfaces for Dismounted Soldiers: User-perceptions on Content, Context and Loci
Nuphar Katzman, Tal Oron-Gilad, and Yael Salzer
Reviews of Human Factors and Ergonomics. 2015; 59:421-425.  [Abstract] [PDF]

Interfaces for dismounted soldiers: examination of non-perfect visual and tactile alerts in a simulated hostile urban environment
Tal Oron-Gilad, Yisrael Parmet, and Daniel Benor
Reviews of Human Factors and Ergonomics. 2015; 59:145-149.  [Abstract] [PDF]

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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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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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