Human Robot Interface Development

Many years of human factors research have shown that the development of efficient, effective and usable interfaces requires the inclusion of the user’s perspective throughout the entire design and development process. Many times interfaces are developed late in the process of design and development process with minimal user input. The result tends to be an interface that simply can not be employed to complete the actual users or the required tasks are unwilling accept the technology. Many of the issues that are raised also apply to HRI (Human-Robot Interface) development. According to Johnson’s book concentrates on Graphical User Interfaces, he listed the following principles:
• Consider function first then presentation later.
• Focus on the users and their tasks but not the technology.
• Confirm the task user’s view.
• Do not complicate the task of user.
• Promote learning.
• Design for responsiveness.
• Deliver information but not just data.
• Try out on users, and then fix it.

The user incorporation into the design process has for many years been termed UCD (User Centered Design). In addition to the work related to user center design, human factors research has concentrated on systems Complex Man-Machine. Such domains include cockpit design, air traffic control, chemicals processing plant and nuclear power plants. Here are many theories and results related to vigilance, operator workload, situation awareness, and human error that can also be applied to HRI development while these domains differ from robotics.

As an example of the parallels between human robotic systems and the above mentioned domains, consider a domain such as air traffic control. The air traffic controllers monitor a particular air space. While monitoring all the aircraft within the air space, these controllers act in a supervisory role. One could consider the controller as the operators monitoring a large team of robots and aircraft as individual robots.

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