Communication of Awareness and Intent in Autonomous Vehicle-Pedestrian Interaction

In this project, we explored how we can build interfaces to suitably replace driver cues which pedestrians are used to receiving but will no longer receive as a result of introducing autonomous vehicles on our roads in the not-so-distant future.

Current vehicle-pedestrian interactions involve the vehicle communicating cues through its physical movement and through nonverbal cues from the driver. Our work studies vehicle-pedestrian interactions at a crosswalk in the presence of autonomous vehicles (without a driver) facilitated by the deployment of interfaces intended to replace missing driver cues. We created four prototype interfaces based on different modalities (such as visual, auditory, and physical) and locations (on the vehicle, on street infrastructure, on the pedestrian, or on a combination of the vehicle, street infrastructure, and the pedestrian). Our findings from two user studies indicate that interfaces which communicate awareness and intent can help pedestrians attempting to cross. We also find that interfaces are not limited to existing only on the vehicle.

Video Preview:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D_hhcGVREGA&list=PLqhXYFYmZ-Vc8kuI_o0I2bsW8i-KTk01I&index=22 

Link to Paper: https://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=3174003 

Creator: 
Pedestrian AV Interface
Monday, January 22, 2018 - 11:45am
Lab Member: 
Karthik Mahadevan

Supernumerary Arms for Gestural Communication

Cyborgs are human-machine hybrids with organic and mechatronic body parts. Like humans, cyborgs may use their additional body parts for physical tasks and communication. In this study, we investigate how additional arms can be used to communicate. While using additional arms to perform physical tasks has been researched, using them to communicate is an area that is largely unexplored.  Our study is divided into three stages: a pilot study, implementation, and a user study. In this paper, we discuss our efforts as related to the first two stages of our study. The pilot study was used to determine user expectations for the arms. Participants found the arms effective for describing an area from a fixed location. Users also preferred additional arms that can be controlled and are physically similar to their existing arms. Our prototype consists of a virtual mirror that augments the user’s body with additional arms. We discuss future directions for improving our implementation and outline a plan for the user study.

Video Preview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CwnPO8OpI_I&index=65&list=PLqhXYFYmZ-VfT...

Link to paper: https://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=3188683 

Creator: 
Exploring the use of extra hands for communication
Monday, January 22, 2018 - 11:45am
Lab Member: 
Anthony Tran

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