Effects of Haptic and 3D Audio Feedback on Operator Performance and Workload for Quadrotor UAVs in Indoor Environments
Robert M. Philbrick*,** and Mark B. Colton**
*MathWorks, 3 Apple Hill Drive Natick, MA 01760, USA
**Department of Mechanical Engineering, Brigham Young University, 435 CTB, Provo, UT 84602, USA
Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) have many potential applications in indoor environments. However, limited visual feedback makes it difficult to pilot UAVs in cluttered and enclosed spaces. Haptic feedback combined with visual feedback has been shown to reduce the number of collisions of UAVs in indoor environments, but has generally resulted in an increase in the mental workload of the operator. This paper investigates the potential of combining novel haptic and 3D audio feedback to provide additional information to operators of UAVs to improve performance and reduce workload. Two haptic feedback and two 3D audio feedback algorithms are presented and tested in a simulation-based human subject experiment. Operator workload is quantified using standard measures and a novel application of behavioral entropy. Experimental results indicate that 3D haptic feedback improved UAV pilot performance. Pilot workload was also improved for one of the haptic algorithms in one of the control directions (lateral). The 3D audio feedback algorithms investigated in this study neither improved nor degraded pilot performance.
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