Underwater Robot-To-Human Communication Via Motion: Implementation and Full-Loop Human Interface Evaluation

Published in Robotics: Science and Systems (RSS) 2022, 2022

Recommended citation:

M. Fulton, M. Mehtaz, J. Sattar, O. Queeglay, "Underwater Robot-To-Human Communication Via Motion: Implementation and Full-Loop Human Interface Evaluation", Proceedings of Robotics: Science and Systems 2022, New York, NY, 2022
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Autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) have long lagged behind other types of robots in supporting natural communication modes for human-robot interaction. Due to the limitations of the environment, most AUVs use digital displays or topside human-in-the-loop communications as their primary or only communication vectors. Natural methods for robot-to-human communication such as robot \enquote{gestures} have been proposed, but never evaluated on non-simulated AUVs. In this paper, we enhance, implement and evaluate a robot-to-human communication system for AUVs called Robot Communication Via Motion (RCVM), which utilizes explicit motion phrases (kinemes) to communicate with a dive partner. %This system was previously proposed and evaluated in a simulation where it was compared to a blinking LED communication system. We present a small pilot study that shows our implementation to be reasonably effective in person followed by a large-population study, comparing the communication effectiveness of our RCVM implementation to three baseline systems. Our results establish RCVM as an effective method of robot-to-human communication underwater and reveal the differences with more traditional communication vectors in how accurately communication is achieved at different viewpoints and types of information payloads.