Humans and Robots in Off-Normal Applications and Emergencies
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& #x00A9; 2020, Springer Nature Switzerland AG. Unmanned systems are becoming increasingly engaged in disaster response. Human error in these applications can have severe consequences and emergency managers appear reluctant to adopt robots. This paper presents a taxonomy of normal and off-normal scenarios that, when combined with a model of impacts on cognitive and attentional resources, specify sources of human error in field robotics. In an emergency, a human is under time and consequences pressure, regardless of whether the mission is routine or whether the event requires a change in the robot, the mission, the robot’s work envelope, the interaction of the humans engaged with the robot, or their work envelope. For example, at Hurricane Michael, unmanned aerial systems were used for standard visual survey missions with minor human errors but the same systems were used at the Kilauea volcanic eruption for novel missions with more notable human errors. An examination of two cases studies suggests the physiological and psychological effects of an emergency may be the primary source of human error.