NIFTi is about human-robot cooperation. About teams of robots and humans doing tasks together, interacting together to try and reach a shared goal. NIFTi looks at how the robot could bear the human in mind. Literally. When determining what to do or say next in human-robot interaction; when, and how. NIFTi puts the human factor into cognitive robots, and human-robot team interaction in particular.
Each year, NIFTi evaluates its systems together with several USAR organizations. Rescue personnel teams up with NIFTi robots to carry out realistic missions, in real-life training areas.
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T. R Colin, N. JJM Smets, and M. A Neerincx
Estimating an operator's cognitive state in real time: a user modeling approach
In: Proceedings of the 21st IEEE International Symposium on Robot and Human Interactive Communication 2012 (Ro-Man 2012), Paris, France.
This paper presents a Cognitive Task Load (CTL) model designed to keep track of an operator's mental workload, both quantitatively (amount of workload) and qualitatively (cognitive state). Every second, the CTL-model updates a diagnosis of the operator's cognitive state; by integrating this model in a (semi-)autonomous robot, the robot's level of automation and user interface can be attuned to the operator's state. The CTL-model's predictions were tested in an Urban Search And Rescue (USAR) setting. The test showed insufficient workload variations to validate the model. This indicates that participants should be subjected to more high-pressure conditions in future trials. These results also suggest that in a realistic environment, an operator's mental workload is affected by high-level coping strategies.