Advanced methods for displays and remote control of robots

Appl Ergon. 2011 Nov;42(6):820-9. doi: 10.1016/j.apergo.2011.01.004. Epub 2011 Mar 3.


An in-depth evaluation of the usability and situation awareness performance of different displays and destination controls of robots are presented. In two experiments we evaluate the way information is presented to the operator and assess different means for controlling the robot. Our study compares three types of displays: a "blocks" display, a HUD (head-up display), and a radar display, and two types of controls: touch screen and hand gestures. The HUD demonstrated better performance when compared to the blocks display and was perceived to have greater usability compared to the radar display. The HUD was also found to be more useful when the operation of the robot was more difficult, i.e., when using the hand-gesture method. The experiments also pointed to the importance of using a wide viewing angle to minimize distortion and for easier coping with the difficulties of locating objects in the field of view margins. The touch screen was found to be superior in terms of both objective performance and its perceived usability. No differences were found between the displays and the controllers in terms of situation awareness. This research sheds light on the preferred display type and controlling method for operating robots from a distance, making it easier to cope with the challenges of operating such systems.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Awareness
  • Data Display
  • Ergonomics
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Remote Sensing Technology
  • Robotics / methods*
  • Robotics / standards
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Task Performance and Analysis
  • User-Computer Interface
  • Young Adult