Human-Robot Swarm Interaction with Limited Situational Awareness

Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 9882)


This paper studies how an operator with limited situational awareness can collaborate with a swarm of simulated robots. The robots are distributed in an environment with wall obstructions. They aggregate autonomously but are unable to form a single cluster due to the obstructions. The operator lacks the bird’s-eye perspective, but can interact with one robot at a time, and influence the behavior of other nearby robots. We conducted a series of experiments. They show that untrained participants had marginal influence on the performance of the swarm. Expert participants succeeded in aggregating 85 % of the robots while untrained participants, with bird’s-eye view, succeeded in aggregating 90 %. This demonstrates that the controls are sufficient for operators to aid the autonomous robots in the completion of the task and that lack of situational awareness is the main difficulty. An analysis of behavioral differences reveals that trained operators learned to gain superior situational awareness.


Situational Awareness Interaction Scheme Aggregation Algorithm Aggregation Task Expert Operator 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The first author acknowledges scholarship support by Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnologia (CONACYT). All authors thank the students of The University of Sheffield who volunteered to participate in the experiment.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Natural Robotics Lab, Department of Automatic Control and Systems EngineeringThe University of SheffieldSheffieldUK

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