RSVP: An investigation of remote shared visual presence as common ground for human-robot teams
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This study presents mobile robots as a way of augmenting communication in distributed teams through a remote shared visual presence (RSVP) consisting of the robot's view. By giving all team members access to the shared visual display provided by a robot situated in a remote workspace, the robot can serve as a source of common ground for the distributed team. In a field study examining the effects of remote shared visual presence on team performance in collocated and distributed Urban Search & Rescue technical search teams, data were collected from 25 dyadic teams comprised of US&R task force personnel drawn from high-fidelity training exercises held in California (2004) and New Jersey (2005). They performed a 2 x 2 repeated measures search task entailing robot-assisted search in a confined space rubble pile. Multilevel regression analyses were used to predict team performance based upon use of RSVP (RSVP or no-RSVP) and whether or not team members had visual access to other team members. Results indicated that the use of RSVP technology predicted team performance ( = -1.24, p<.05). No significant differences emerged in performance between teams with and without visual access to their team members. Findings suggest RSVP may enable distributed teams to perform as effectively as collocated teams. However, differences detected between sites suggest efficiency of RSVP may depend on the user's domain experience and team cohesion. Copyright 2007 ACM.
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