Virtual Synergy: A Human-Robot Interface for Urban Search and Rescue

Sheila Tejada, Andrew Cristina, Priscilla Goodwyne, Eric Normand, Ryan O’Hara, and Shahrukh Tarapore

This paper describes the Virtual Synergy interface, which combines a three dimensional graphical interface with physical robots to allow for collaboration among multiple human researchers, simulated software agents and physical teams of multi-terrain robots for the task of Urban Search and Rescue. Using the interface to communicate and monitor the robots gives the human operators the ability to function as team members, where the robots can fluidly shift from being completely independent to tele-operated. This opens up opportunities to explore research in adjustable autonomy of robot teams, such as distributed planning, multi-agent learning, and dynamic collaboration.


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