Motive and Affect-based Robotic Control (MARC)

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Navy
Contract: N00014-08-C-0736
Agency Tracking Number: O063-UM7-4100
Amount: $742,044.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2009
Solicitation Year: 2006
Solicitation Topic Code: OSD06-UM7
Solicitation Number: 2006.3
Small Business Information
1035 Virginia Drive, Suite 300, Fort Washington, PA, 19034
DUNS: 161162995
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Wayne Zachary
 Principal Investigator
 (215) 542-1400
Business Contact
 Phillip Rollhauser
Title: Director of Contracts
Phone: (215) 542-1400
Research Institution
This project addresses two core challenges to wider and more effective use of robotic and uninhabited vehicles (UxVs), the need for more robust and understandable autonomy, and for simplified, intuitive, and more learnable human control mechanisms. The Phase I effort created an advanced control mechanism and interface for UxVs based on PAC, an innovative cognitive model of personality and emotion. The resulting PAC-based design is named MARC -- Motive and Affect-based Robotic Control. MARC is intended to translate between ‘ordinary personality and emotion language’ – the kind the human UxV controller might use in communicating with other people -- and underlying computational structures that control the UxV. Phase I used the biologically inspired PAC software to build a proof-of-concept MARC prototype that controlled multiple simulated UxVs. A human-in-the-loop experiment compared the MARC prototype with a more conventional UxV control mechanism, and found that MARC led to significantly fewer errors, lower workload, and higher mission accomplishment in comparison to the conventional control paradigm. The goal of the Phase II effort (base and option) is to bring MARC to TRL 6 through complete component development and demonstration of an integrated MARC in a relevant operational environment.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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