ISR Distinguished Speaker

Robin Murphy

Professor, Department of Computer Science and Engineering
“Disaster Robotics: Capturing Diverse Human-Robot Interaction”
Friday, May 1, 2015 - 3:00pm to 4:00pm
Faculty Host: 

RSVPs are not required.

Donald Bren Hall (building #314), room 6011

No cost to attend.

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Unmanned ground, aerial, and marine vehicles have been used at over 40 disasters since 2001 and offer the potential to transform emergency response, recovery, and prevention. We have a unique participant-observer relationship to disasters, having deployed to 17 of these disasters, including the 9/11 World Trade Center, Hurricane Katrina, and the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident. Our analysis of disaster robotics shows that the barriers to adoption are not the vehicles but poor human-robot interaction. For example, human error was responsible for 50% of the mission-terminating failures reported between 2001 and 2013. While tactical robot operators may see the data in real-time, the actual decision-makers may experience delays of half an hour or longer and data arrives in incompatible file formats. In addition, many user interfaces do not support the realities of distributed teams and decision-making or they require significant robot expertise, reducing comfort with the robots. This talk will present an overview of disaster robotics, describing the methods we have developed for conducting ethnography and cognitive work analyses in the field with robots, modeling human-robot interaction as a set of shared roles, and modeling the data-to-decision process. Extensive video will be shown.

About the Speaker: 

Robin Roberson Murphy (IEEE Fellow) received a B.M.E. in mechanical engineering, a M.S. and Ph.D. in computer science in 1980, 1989, and 1992, respectively, from Georgia Tech, where she was a Rockwell International Doctoral Fellow. She is the Raytheon Professor of Computer Science and Engineering at Texas A&M and directs the Center for Robot-Assisted Search and Rescue and an IEEE Fellow. Her research interests are artificial intelligence, human-robot interaction, and heterogeneous teams of robots and she has over 100 publications including the best selling textbook, Introduction to AI Robotics (MIT Press 2000). She is a founder of the fields of rescue robots and human-robot interaction. In 2008, she was awarded the Al Aube Outstanding Contributor award by the AUVSI Foundation, for her insertion of ground, air, and sea robots for urban search and rescue (US&R) at 11 disasters, including the 9/11 World Trade Center disaster, Hurricanes Katrina and Charley, and the Crandall Canyon Utah mine collapse. Since arriving at Texas A&M in 2008, she has been leading an initiative in emergency informatics, which stems in part from witnessing valuable data from robots not reaching the right decision maker. Dr. Murphy is active in the community, having served on the IEEE Robotics and Automation executive committees, numerous National Academies and defense boards, including the Defense Science Board.