Human-Interaction Challenges in UAV-Based Autonomous Surveillance

Michael Freed, Robert Harris, and Michael G. Shafto

Autonomous UAVs provide a platform for intelligent surveillance in application domains ranging from security and military operations to scientific information gathering and land management. Surveillance tasks are often long duration, requiring that any approach be adaptive to changes in the environment or user needs. We describe a decision-theoretic model of surveillance, appropriate for use on our autonomous helicopter, that provides a basis for optimizing the value of information returned by the UAV. From this approach arise a range of challenges in making this framework practical for use by human operators lacking specialized knowledge of autonomy and mathematics. This paper describes our platform and approach, then describes human-interaction challenges arising from this approach that we have identified and begun to address.

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