A Neurophysiological Assessment of Multi-robot Control During NASA’s Pavilion Lake Research Project

  • John G. BlitchEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing book series (AISC, volume 499)


A number of previous studies have explored the value of an external or “3rd person” view in the realm of video gaming and augmented reality. Few studies, however, actually utilize a mobile robot to provide that viewpoint, and fewer still do so in dynamic, unstructured environments. This study examined the cognitive state of robot operators performing complex survey and sample collection tasks in support of a time sensitive, high profile science expedition. A solo robot control paradigm was compared with a dual condition in which an alternate (surrogate) perspective was provided via voice commands to a second robot employed as a highly autonomous teammate. Subjective and neurophysiological measurements indicate an increased level of situational awareness was achieved in the dual condition along with a reduction decision oriented task engagement. These results are discussed in the context of mitigation potential for cognitive overload and automation induced complacency in complex and unstructured task environments.


Human robot interaction Cognitive state Situational awareness Workload Decision making Robot assisted rescue 



This work was sponsored by the Warfighter Interface Division (RHC) of the 711th Human Performance Wing at the Air Force Research Laboratory. The author would like to express the utmost in profound gratitude to Dr. Darlene Lim of NASA/JSC and her amazing team for providing 711HPW/RHC with such a magnificent research opportunity. Boundless appreciation is also extended to Arnis Mangolds, Mark Micire, James Christensen, Justin Estepp, Ethan Blackford, Maggie Bowers, Jeffrey Bolles, and Samantha Klosterman for their extra efforts and technical prowess in handling complex data collection and participant management issues under daunting conditions and a compressed time line.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.AFRL 711th HPW/RHCWright Patterson AFBOhioUSA

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