Using Temporal Sensitivity to Predict Performance Under Latency in Teleoperation

Hum Factors. 2018 Feb;60(1):80-91. doi: 10.1177/0018720817734727. Epub 2017 Oct 2.


Objective This article establishes a relationship between temporal sensitivity and task performance under one-way latency between input and response. Background As the latency between human input and telerobot response increases, performance (e.g., speed to complete task and accuracy) declines. Tools, such as predictive displays, have been developed to ameliorate performance costs. However, more work is needed to understand the relationship between individual differences and task performance. Temporal sensitivity in particular was the focus of this research. Method Participants completed two tasks. In the time estimation task, participants estimated the duration of a series of visual stimuli. In the second task, participants drove a remote-controlled (RC) car through a track. On each trial, there was a latency between the participant's input into the controller and the response by the RC car, with latencies ranging from 400 to 1,000 milliseconds between trials. Completion time and the number of errors made were recorded. Results Temporal sensitivity predicted the total number of errors made during a trial but was not found to be a predictor of completion time. It was however predictive of error rate (i.e., errors per minute), suggesting a possible speed/accuracy trade-off. Conclusion This was an initial step in establishing a link between temporal sensitivity and performance with latency. Application The study has applications toward training teleoperators who may experience latency, such as astronauts and surgeons.

Keywords: human-robot interaction; individual differences; psychophysical methods; teleoperation; time perception.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Man-Machine Systems*
  • Psychomotor Performance / physiology*
  • Robotics*
  • Time Perception / physiology*
  • Young Adult