Human-robot interaction in USAR technical search: Two heads are better than one Conference Paper uri icon


  • Effective human-robot interaction in Urban Search and Rescue robotics currently requires a minimum 2:1 human-to-robot ratio. The demands are not just physical (though the task at present is facilitated by having a second person assist with physical robot operations); cognitive challenges are presented by the key-hole effect, teleproprioception and telekinesthesis. In studies with 2:1 robot teams, operators who talked more with their teammates about the search environment, the robot's situatedness in that environment, and search strategies seemed to develop a shared mental model of both the search environment and the task at hand. Moreover, operators who talked more about goal-directed aspects of the search task with their teammates were rated as having better situation awareness and task performance. Effective teams were nine times more likely to find victims in search exercises. This suggests that robot-assisted search and rescue is a team task and good human-robot interaction is critical to performance. © 2004 IEEE.

author list (cited authors)

  • Burke, J. L., & Murphy, R. R.

publication date

  • December 2004