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Potential Scaling Effects for Asynchronous Video in Multirobot Search. Prasanna Velagapudi 1 , Huadong Wang 2 , Paul Scerri 1 , Michael Lewis 2 and Katia Sycara 1 1 Carnegie Mellon University, USA 2 University of Pittsburgh, USA. Urban Search and Rescue (USAR).

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potential scaling effects for asynchronous video in multirobot search

Potential Scaling Effects for Asynchronous Video in Multirobot Search

Prasanna Velagapudi1, Huadong Wang2, Paul Scerri1, Michael Lewis2 and Katia Sycara1

1Carnegie Mellon University, USA2University of Pittsburgh, USA

urban search and rescue usar
Urban Search and Rescue (USAR)
  • Location and rescue of people in a structural collapse
  • Urban disasters
    • Landslides
    • Earthquakes
    • Terrorism

Credit: NIST

usar robots
USAR Robots
  • Robots can help
    • Unstable voids
    • Mapping/clearing
  • Want them to be:
    • Small
    • Cheap
    • Plentiful

Credit: NIST

urban search and rescue usar1
Urban Search and Rescue (USAR)
  • Now: One operator  one robot
    • Directly teleoperated
    • Victim detection through synchronous video
  • Future: One operator  many robots
    • Manufacturing robots is easy
    • Training operators is hard
  • Need to scale navigation and search
synchronous video
Synchronous Video
  • Most common form of camera teleoperation
    • High bandwidth
    • Low latency
  • Applications
    • Surveillance
    • Bomb disposal
    • Inspection

Credit: iRobot

synchronous video1
Synchronous Video
  • Does not scale with team size
synchronous video2
Synchronous Video
  • Does not scale with team size
synchronous video3
Synchronous Video
  • Does not scale with team size
asynchronous imagery
Asynchronous Imagery
  • Inspired by planetary robotic solutions
    • Limited bandwidth
    • High latency
  • Multiple photographs from single location
    • Maximizes coverage
    • Can be mapped to virtual pan-tilt-zoom camera
hypothesis
Hypothesis
  • Asynchronicity may improve performance
    • Helps guarantee coverage
    • Can review imagery on demand
  • Asynchronicity may reduce mental workload
    • Only navigation must be done in real-time
    • Search becomes self-paced
usarsim
USARSim
  • Based on UnrealEngine2
  • High-fidelity physics
  • “Realistic” rendering
    • Camera
    • Laser scanner (LIDAR)

[http://www.sourceforge.net/projects/usarsim]

mrcs m ulti r obot c ontrol s ystem1
MrCSMulti-robot Control System

Status Window

Map Overview

Video/ Image Viewer

Waypoint Navigation

Teleoperation

pilot study
Pilot Study
  • Objective:
    • Find victims  Mark victims on map
  • Control 4 robots
    • Waypoint control (primary)
    • Direct teleoperation
  • Explore the map
    • Map generated online w/ Occupancy Grid SLAM
    • Simulated laser scanners
experimental conditions
Experimental Conditions

Arena 2

10 Victims

Arena 1

experimental conditions1
Streaming Mode

Panorama Mode

Panoramas stored for later viewing

Streaming live video

Experimental Conditions
subjects
Subjects
  • 21 paid participants
    • 9 male, 12 female
    • No prior experience with robot control
    • Frequent computer users: 71%
    • Played computers games > 1hr/week: 28%
method
Method
  • Written instructions
  • 20 min. training session
    • Both streaming and panoramas enabled
    • Encouraged to find and mark at least one victim
  • 20 min. testing session (Arena 1)
  • 20 min. testing session (Arena 2)
metrics
Metrics
  • Switching times
  • Number of victims
    • Thresholded accuracy
victims found

Panorama

6

Streaming

5

4

3

2

1

0

Within 0.75m

Within 1m

Within 1.5m

Within 2m

Accuracy Threshold

Victims Found

Average # of victims found

trial order interaction

7

Panorama First

6

< 2m

< 1.5m

5

4

< 2m

3

< 1.5m

Streaming First

2

1

0

First Session

Second Session

Trial Order Interaction

Average # of victims found

switching time streaming mode

12

10

8

6

4

2

0

0

20

40

60

80

100

120

Number of Switches

Switching Time (Streaming Mode)

p=0.064

Average # of reported victims

switching time panorama mode

12

10

8

6

4

2

0

0

20

40

60

80

100

120

Number of Switches

Switching Time (Panorama Mode)

Average # of reported victims

summary
Summary
  • Streaming is better than panoramic
    • Perhaps not by as much as expected
    • Conditions favorable to streaming video
  • Asynchronous performance has potential
    • May avoid forced pace switching
    • May scale with team size
synchronous scaling
Synchronous Scaling
  • Objective:
    • Find victims  Mark victims on map
  • Control 4, 8, 12 robots
    • Waypoint control (primary)
    • Direct teleoperation
  • Explore the map
    • Map generated online w/ Occupancy Grid SLAM
    • Simulated laser scanners
subjects1
Subjects
  • 15 paid participants
    • 8 male, 7 female
    • No prior experience with robot control
    • Most were frequent computer users
method1
Method
  • Written instructions
  • 20 min. training session
    • Encouraged to find and mark at least one victim
  • 20 min. testing session (4 robots)
  • 20 min. testing session (8 robots)
  • 20 min. testing session (12 robots)
metrics1
Metrics
  • Explored regions
  • Number of victims
  • Neglect tolerance
  • Switching times
  • Number of missions
  • NASA-TLX workload
explored region
Explored Region

Area explored

victims found1
Victims Found

Number of Victims

victims found per robot
Victims Found per Robot

Number of Victims

neglected robots
Neglected Robots

Totally

Number of Robots

Initial Move

switch times
Switch Times

Number of Switches

mission numbers
Mission Numbers

Number of Missions

fan out
Fan-out

(Neglect Tolerance)

(Interaction Time)

summary1
Summary
  • Bounded number of directly controllable robots between 8 and 12
    • Diminishing returns as robots are added
    • Performance drops above 8 robots
  • Fan-out parallels the number of robots operator controls
    • Operators using satisficing strategy
asynchronous scaling proposed
Asynchronous Scaling (Proposed)
  • Objective:
    • Find victims  Mark victims on map
  • Control 4, 8, 12 robots
    • Waypoint control (primary)
    • Direct teleoperation
  • Explore the map
    • Map generated online w/ Occupancy Grid SLAM
    • Simulated laser scanners
method2
Method
  • Written instructions
  • 20 min. training session
    • Both streaming and panoramas enabled
    • Encouraged to find and mark at least one victim
  • 20 min. testing session (4 robots)
  • 20 min. testing session (8 robots)
  • 20 min. testing session (12 robots)
metrics2
Metrics
  • Explored regions
  • Number of victims
  • Neglect tolerance
  • Switching times
  • Number of missions
  • NASA-TLX workload
expected contributions
Expected Contributions
  • Determine when asynchronicity is useful
    • Advantages for larger team sizes
    • Simultaneous search is not viable
  • Establish performance baselines for asynchronous search
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