HREyes: Design, Development, and Evaluation of a Novel Method for AUVs to Communicate Information and Gaze Direction

Published in ICRA 2023,, 2023

Recommended citation:

M. Fulton, A. Prabhu and J. Sattar, "HREyes: Design, Development, and Evaluation of a Novel Method for AUVs to Communicate Information and Gaze Direction," 2023 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), London, United Kingdom, 2023
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We present the design, development, and evaluation of HREyes: biomimetic communication devices which use light to communicate information and, for the first time, gaze direction from AUVs to humans. First, we introduce two types of information displays using the HREye devices: active lucemes and ocular lucemes. Active lucemes communicate information explicitly through animations, while ocular lucemes communicate gaze direction implicitly by mimicking human eyes. We present a human study in which our system is compared to the use of an embedded digital display that explicitly communicates information to a diver by displaying text. Our results demonstrate accurate recognition of active lucemes for trained interactants, limited intuitive understanding of these lucemes for untrained interactants, and relatively accurate perception of gaze direction for all interactants. The results on active luceme recognition demonstrate more accurate recognition than previous light-based communication systems for AUVs (albeit with different phrase sets). Additionally, the ocular lucemes we introduce in this work represent the first method for communicating gaze direction from an AUV, a critical aspect of nonverbal communication used in collaborative work. With readily available hardware as well as open-source and easily re-configurable programming, HREyes can be easily integrated into any AUV with the physical space for the devices and used to communicate effectively with divers in any underwater environment with appropriate visibility