Up from the Rubble: Lessons Learned about HRI from Search and Rescue Conference Paper uri icon


  • The Center for Robot-Assisted Search and Rescue has collected data at three responses (World Trade Center, Hurricane Charley, and the La Conchita mudslide) and nine high fidelity field exercises. Our results can be distilled into four lessons. First, building situation awareness, not autonomous navigation, is the major bottleneck in robot autonomy. Most of the robotics literature assumes a single operator single robot (SOSR), while our work shows that two operators working together are nine times more likely to find a victim. Second, human-robot interaction should not be thought of how to control the robot but rather how a team of experts can exploit the robot as an active information source. The third lesson is that team members use shared visual information to build shared mental models and facilitate team coordination. This suggests that high bandwidth, reliable communications will be necessary for effective teamwork. Fourth, victims and rescuers in close proximity to the robots respond to the robot socially. We conclude with observations about the general challenges in human-robot interaction.

published proceedings

  • Proceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society Annual Meeting

author list (cited authors)

  • Murphy, R. R., & Burke, J. L.

citation count

  • 61

complete list of authors

  • Murphy, Robin R||Burke, Jennifer L

publication date

  • September 2005