Examining Audio Communication Mechanisms for Supervising Fleets of Agricultural Robots

Abhi Kamboj, Tianchen Ji, Katie Driggs-Campbell

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Agriculture is facing a labor crisis, leading to increased interest in fleets of small, under-canopy robots (agbots) that can perform precise, targeted actions (e.g., crop scouting, weeding, fertilization), while being supervised by human operators remotely. However, farmers are not necessarily experts in robotics technology and will not adopt technologies that add to their workload or do not provide an immediate payoff. In this work, we explore methods for communication between a remote human operator and multiple agbots and examine the impact of audio communication on the operator's preferences and productivity. We develop a simulation platform where agbots are deployed across a field, randomly encounter failures, and call for help from the operator. As the agbots report errors, various audio communication mechanisms are tested to convey which robot failed and what type of failure occurs. The human is tasked with verbally diagnosing the failure while completing a secondary task. A user study was conducted to test three audio communication methods: earcons, single-phrase commands, and full sentence communication. Each participant completed a survey to determine their preferences and each method's overall effectiveness. Our results suggest that the system using single phrases is the most positively perceived by participants and may allow for the human to complete the secondary task more efficiently. The code is available at: https://github.com/akamboj2/Agbot-Sim.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationRO-MAN 2022 - 31st IEEE International Conference on Robot and Human Interactive Communication
Subtitle of host publicationSocial, Asocial, and Antisocial Robots
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Pages293-300
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9781728188591
DOIs
StatePublished - 2022
Event31st IEEE International Conference on Robot and Human Interactive Communication, RO-MAN 2022 - Napoli, Italy
Duration: Aug 29 2022Sep 2 2022

Publication series

NameRO-MAN 2022 - 31st IEEE International Conference on Robot and Human Interactive Communication: Social, Asocial, and Antisocial Robots

Conference

Conference31st IEEE International Conference on Robot and Human Interactive Communication, RO-MAN 2022
Country/TerritoryItaly
CityNapoli
Period8/29/229/2/22

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Social Psychology
  • Communication
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Computer Science Applications

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