Kevin Bennett, Ph.D. (Advisor); Gary N. Burns, Ph.D. (Committee Member); Mark Draper, Ph.D. (Committee Member); Ion Juvina, Ph.D. (Committee Member)
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Intelligent agent technologies are increasing the potential capacity for systems to behave more autonomously and are enabling more advanced human-autonomy teaming. For instance, future applications of human-autonomy teaming for the command and control of unmanned vehicles are now under consideration. This would involve a shift from a supervisory control approach to a teaming structure. These two approaches, instantiated as the task division and relationship between a human operator and a teammate, were empirically examined. The team’s composition, either human-human or human-autonomy, was also considered. A control station that supports single operator management of multiple simulated unmanned vehicles performing a base defense mission was employed along with a task management interface to support coordination and team cognition. A 2 x 2 x 2 mixed experimental design was used to evaluate operator-driven (supervisory control) and role-driven (teaming) team structures (within-subjects), across two levels of mission complexity (within-subjects), by both human-human teams and human-autonomy teams (between-subjects). Twenty-four participants completed four 30-minute trials, during which they worked with their teammate to complete a series of mission tasks. The role-driven team structure resulted in increased team performance on all measures with reduced workload. Team performance did not differ for Team Composition but the human-human teams resulted in a greater number of communications, and the teammate was rated higher in terms of trust and reliability. These results indicate that a teaming approach between human operators and autonomy can be beneficial, however, the interfaces need to support teammate interactions and provide transparency. Future research needs are also discussed.
Year Degree Awarded
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