Understanding Human Response to the Presence and Actions of Unmanned Ground Vehicle Systems in Field Environments
Strawderman, L., Campbell, S., May, D., Bethel, C. L., Usher, J., & Carruth, D. W. (2017). Understanding Human Response to the Presence and Actions of Unmanned Ground Vehicle Systems in Field Environments. IEEE Transactions on Human-Machine Systems. IEEE. PP(99), 1-12. DOI:10.1109/THMS.2017.271905.
The objective of this research was to investigate how humans would respond to unmanned ground vehicles (UGV) operating in their environment. These environments included a shopping mall, two different sports complexes, and a university campus setting. The field study included video observations of 784 pedestrians. Additionally, survey data were collected and matched to 115 pedestrian observations. The field evaluations were conducted over a period of six weeks at the four locations. The results indicate that of the 784 pedestrians observed, 63.5% took time to observe the robot, 30.6% ignored the robot, and 5.9% stopped and interacted with the robot. Based on the individual results from the 115 pedestrians that completed the survey, those who indicated having positive feelings (e.g., strong, comfortable, excited) had an increased likelihood of interacting with the UGV. If the pedestrian had owned a dog they were more likely to interact with the robot. Pedestrians traveling in groups were also more likely to stop and interact with the robot than those traveling alone. The results from this field research will be used in the near future to inform the development of a pedestrian model to include responses to robots that may be in the environment, and could also be used to inform design features for UGVs. As robots continue to become more prevalent in society, it is important to consider how humans will interact with them when encountered.