Human Robot Interaction, Spatial Ability, Tele-operation, Video Frame Delay


The United States Army has moved into the 21st century with the intent of redesigning not only the force structure but also the methods by which we will fight and win our nation's wars. Fundamental in this restructuring is the development of the Future Combat Systems (FCS). In an effort to minimize exposure of front line soldiers the future Army will utilize unmanned assets for both information gathering and when necessary engagements. Yet this must be done judiciously, as the bandwidth for net-centric warfare is limited. The implication is that the FCS must be designed to leverage bandwidth in a manner that does not overtax computational resources. In this study alternatives for improving human performance during operation of teleoperated and semi-autonomous robots were examined. It was predicted that when operating both types of robots, frame delay of the semi-autonomous robot would improve performance because it would allow operators to concentrate on the constant workload imposed by the teleoperated while only allocating resources to the semi-autonomous during critical tasks. An additional prediction was that operators with high spatial ability would perform better than those with low spatial ability, especially when operating an aerial vehicle. The results can not confirm that frame delay has a positive effect on operator performance, though power may have been an issue, but clearly show that spatial ability is a strong predictor of performance on robotic asset control, particularly with aerial vehicles. In operating the UAV, the high spatial group was, on average, 30% faster, lazed 12% more targets, and made 43% more location reports than the low spatial group. The implications of this study indicate that system design should judiciously manage workload and capitalize on individual ability to improve performance and are relevant to system designers, especially in the military community.


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Graduation Date





Stanney, Kay


Master of Science (M.S.)


College of Engineering and Computer Science


Industrial Engineering and Management Systems

Degree Program

Industrial Engineering and Management Systems








Release Date

May 2005

Length of Campus-only Access


Access Status

Masters Thesis (Open Access)

Restricted to the UCF community until May 2005; it will then be open access.

Included in

Engineering Commons