Designing a Pedestrian Simulator for Autonomous Vehicles in Mixed Traffic

As autonomous vehicles are introduced to our roads, they will co-exist with vehicles of varying levels of autonomy, including those that are manually-driven or semi-autonomous. While manually-driven vehicles can communicate with pedestrians through cues such as eye contact and hand gestures, semi-autonomous and autonomous vehicles will not. To study this future interaction, we designed a pedestrian simulator in virtual reality (VR). We immersed participants in VR to evaluate how they could make safe crossing decisions when faced with vehicles of varying autonomy level. Our findings highlight the role interfaces play in communicating awareness and intent, across vehicles of all autonomy levels, and demonstrate the usefulness of immersive pedestrian simulators in designing autonomous vehicle interfaces.

Mahadevan, K., Sanoubari, E., Somanath, S., Young, J. E., & Sharlin, E. (2019, June). AV-Pedestrian Interaction Design Using a Pedestrian Mixed Traffic Simulator. In Proceedings of the 2019 on Designing Interactive Systems Conference (pp. 475-486). ACM.

Find the paper at: https://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=3322328 

Pedestrian Simulator
Friday, October 19, 2018 - 10:45pm
Lab Member: 
Karthik Mahadevan

Using Supernumerary Robotic Arms for Background Tasks

Numerous studies have envisioned the explicit and implicit use of Supernumerary Robotic Limbs (SRLs), wearable robotic limbs, to directly assist a user in performing tasks. In this work, we explore in which situations Supernumerary Robotic Arms (SRAs) could be used in to perform background activities. We conducted a preliminary design study to better understand user expectations for using SRAs in background tasks. Our results highlight that SRAs can be helpful in performing background tasks alongside users performing a primary task. Informed by our study we present our current implementation efforts and suggest directions for future work.

Link to paper: http://graphicsinterface.org/wp-content/uploads/gi2018-poster-19.pdf 

Creator: 
SRAs performing background tasks
Monday, January 22, 2018 - 11:45am
Lab Member: 
Anna Le Tran

Leveraging Instinctive Human Defensive Behaviors for Safe Human-Robot Interaction

We are currently exploring how we can utilize instinctive human defense mechanisms (manifesting through perceived danger) to enable robots to interact safely with humans.

Maintaining the safety of humans is of paramount concern in the field of human-robot interaction. We employed a Research through Design (RtD) approach to explore better HRI safety mechanisms. We conducted a preliminary design study where we presented a group of designers various scenarios of different robotic platforms acting unsafely. Our findings indicate that participants mapped human responses to unsafe robotic interfaces, to natural human defensive behaviors in response to varying levels of threat stimuli. Based on preliminary findings, we suggest leveraging the instinctive human ability to react to dangerous situations as a fail-safe mechanism to the robot's own built-in safety methods.

Link to paper: https://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=3177004

Creator: 
Fight-Or-Flight?
Monday, January 22, 2018 - 11:45am
Lab Member: 
Karthik Mahadevan