Movers, Shakers, and Those Who Stand Still: Visual Attention-grabbing Techniques in Robot Teleoperation


We designed and evaluated a series of teleoperation interface techniques that aim to draw operator attention while mitigating negative effects of interruption. Monitoring live teleoperation video feeds, for example to search for survivors in search and rescue, can be cognitively taxing, particularly for operators driving multiple robots or monitoring multiple cameras. To reduce workload, emerging computer vision techniques can automatically identify and indicate (cue) salient points of potential interest for the operator. However, it is not clear how to cue such points to a preoccupied operator - whether cues would be distracting and a hindrance to operators - and how the design of the cue may impact operator cognitive load, attention drawn, and primary task performance. In this paper, we detail our iterative design process for creating a range of visual attention-grabbing cues that are grounded in psychological literature on human attention, and two formal evaluations that measure attention-grabbing capability and impact on operator performance. Our results show that visually cueing on-screen points of interest does not distract operators, that operators perform poorly without the cues, and detail how particular cue design parameters impact operator cognitive load and task performance. Specifically, full-screen cues can lower cognitive load, but can increase response time; animated cues may improve accuracy, but increase cognitive load. Finally, from this design process we provide tested, and theoretically grounded cues for attention drawing in teleoperation. © 2017 ACM.

ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction

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