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Tortoise and the Hare Robot: Slow and steady almost wins the race, but finishes more safely

We investigated the effects of changing the tele-operation feel of operating a robot by modifying its speed and acceleration profiles, and found that reducing a robot’s maximum speed by half can reduce collisions by 32%, while only increasing navigation task time by 10%. Teleoperated robots are increasingly popular for enabling people to remotely attend meetings, explore dangerous areas, or view tourist destinations. As these robots are being designed to work in crowded areas with people, obstacles, or even unpredictable debris, interfaces that support piloting them in a safe and controlled manner are important for successful teleoperation. We investigate modifying a teleoperated robot’s speed and acceleration profiles on an operator remotely navigating through an obstacle course. Our results indicate that lower maximum speeds result in lower operator workload, fewer collisions, and are only slightly slower than other profiles with a higher maximum speed. Our results raise questions about how robot designers should think about physical robot capability design and default driving software settings, the robot control interface, and the relation of robot speed to control.

Daniel J. Rea, Mahdi Rahmani, Neil Bruce, James E. Young. "Tortoise and the Hare Robot: Slow and steady almost wins the race, but finishes more safely." In Proceedings of RO-MAN. IEEE. 2017 (to appear).

Authors

Daniel J. Rea

Daniel J. Rea

PhD Student
James E.Young

James E.Young

Associate Professor

As well as: Neil Bruce