A Software Framework for Coordinating Human-Robot Teams
Robots are expected to fulfill an important role in manned exploration operations. They can reduce the risk of crew EVA and improve crew productivity on routine tasks. They can be supervised locally by astronauts or remotely by ground control. In a sense, robots will become members of the operational team. Just like human teams, these human-robot teams must exchange information, follow established protocols, and coordinate their activities to ensure that mission operations are safe and effective. Supporting such team operations requires infrastructure for human-robot interaction. TRACLabs proposes to develop a software framework that facilitates human-robot teaming, from team formation until completion of team operations. We will build on the existing Distributed Collaboration and Interaction (DCI) System, a software multi-agent system developed by TRACLabs to assist human-automation interaction. DCI provides a software agent for each human team member that delivers services supporting mission duties. An innovation of this project is providing DCI agents for robots as well as humans in the team. Another innovation is the use of human models to give robots insight into human behavior to improve interaction. Phase I will produce a software framework prototype for human-robot interaction and a framework design for implementation in Phase II.
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