Analysis and augmentation of human performance on telerobotic search problems

Kuo Shih Tseng, Bérénice Mettler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Search is an essential technology for rescue and other mobile robot applications. Many robotic search and rescue systems rely on teleoperation. One of the key problems in search tasks is how to cover the search space efficiently. Search is also central to humans' daily activities. This paper analyzes and models human search behavior using data from actual teleoperation experiments. The analysis of the experimental data uses a novel technique to decompose search data, based on structure learning and K-means clustering. The analysis explores three hypotheses: (1) humans are able to solve a complex search task by breaking it up into smaller tasks, (2) humans consider both coverage and motion cost, and (3) robots can outperform humans in search problems. The enhanced understanding of human search strategies can then be applied to the design of human-robot interfaces and search algorithms. The paper describes a technique for augmenting human search. Since the objective functions in search problems are submodular, greedy algorithms can generate near-optimal subgoals. These subgoals then can be used to guide humans in searching. Experiments showed that the humans' search performance is improved with the subgoals' assistance.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9042341
Pages (from-to)56590-56606
Number of pages17
JournalIEEE Access
StatePublished - 2020


  • Human-robot interaction
  • Mobile robots
  • Rescue robots
  • Robot sensing systems
  • Telerobotics


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