Understanding human decision-making when controlling UAVs in a search and rescue application
Authors: Sophie Hart, Vicky Banks, Seth Bullock, Jan Noyes
Abstract: The introduction of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) within search and rescue missions provides human operators with ‘eyes in the sky’. However, little attention has previously been paid to the implications of this type of technology on the decision-making procedures of search and rescue teams; in particular, the human operator responsible for extracting and analysing UAV sensor data in order to achieve the mission objective, typically to locate missing people.Within the field of Human Factors, theoretical decision models have been used to identify user requirements for interfaces, training protocols, workstation layouts, and decision aids. We propose that decision models can be applied to the study of Human-Robot Interaction. Thus, the current paper presents a literature review of decision models used within Human Factors. The provision of a UAV within a Search and Rescue operation is used to case study the utility of these decision models for capturing the aspects of decision-making exercised by the sensor operator.
Keywords: human decision-making, UAVs, search and rescue tasks
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