EVALUATION OF THE ADVANCE SERVOMANIPULATOR CONTROL ROOM HUMAN-MACHINE INTERFACE

Period of Performance: 01/01/1987 - 12/31/1987

$200K

Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Clarke Ambrose, Inc.
P.o. Box 23064
Knoxville, TN 37933
Principal Investigator

Abstract

THE REMOTE CONTROL ENGINEERING (RCE) TASK OF THE FUEL RECYCLE DIVISION AT THE OAK RIDGE NATIONAL LABORATORY (ORNL)IS DEVELOPING REMOTE HANDLING EQUIPMENT FOR MAINTENANCE AND REPAIR OF FUTURE NUCLEAR FACILITIES. THESE SYSTEMS ARE BASED ON MAN-IN-THE LOOP TELEOPERATION FEATURING THE ADVANCES SERVOMANIPULATOR. (ASM). RECENTLY, THE RCE TASK COMPLETED CONSTRUCTION OF A CONTROL ROOM WHICH WOULD SERVE AS THE CENTER OF OPERATIONS FOR ASM-BASED REMOTE HANDLING SYTEMS. THE HUMAN-MACHINE INTERFACE PROVIDED BY THIS CONTROL ROOM WILL BE AN IMPORTANT FACTOR IN OVERALL EFFECTIVENESS OF ASM-BASED TELEOPERATORS. THEREFORE, THE ASM CONTROL ROOM REQUIRES THOROUGH TESTING AND EVALUATION TOINSURE THAT ALL NECESSARY CONTROL FUNCTIONS ARE PROVIDED, ALL NECESSARY INFORMATION IS DISPLAYED, INTER-OPERATOR COMMUNICATION IS OF SUFFICIENTLY HIGH-QUALITY, AND CONTROLS/DISPLAYS ARE PROVIDED IN A SAFE AND EFFECTIVE MANNER. THE ASM CONTROL ROOM MUST BE EVALUATED IN TERMS OF ITS PERFORMANCE IN REMOTE MAINTENANCE SCENARIOS AND ITS EFFECTS ON ITS USERS (I.E. EASE OF USE, WORKLOAD, FATIGUE). DURING PHASE I OF THE RESEARCH, A METHOD FOR EVALUATION OF THE ASM CONTROL ROOM (AND APPLICABLE TO OTHER CONTROL ROOMS FOR MANIPULATOR SYSTEMS) WOULD BE DEVELOPED. A PRELIMINARY EVALUATION OF THE ASM CONTROL ROOM WOULD BE CONDUCTED, OBVIOUSLY SUB-STANDARD COMPONENTS WOULD BE IDENTIFIED, AND ASET OF SCENARIOS IN WHICH THE ASM IS EXPECTED TO FUNTION WOULD BE DEVELOPED. THE METHOD OF EVALUATION WILL ADDRESS THREE ESPECIALLY IMPORTANT PROBLEMS. FIRST, THE DYNAMIC NATURE OF ASM INTERFACES (WHICH ARE COMPOSED OF MENU-BASED TOUCH SCREENS) MAKES IT NECESSARY TO EVALUATE THE IMPACT OF MENU ORGANIZATION AND MENU CHANGES. SECOND, INTER-OPERATOR COMMUNICATION WILL BE AN IMPORTANT PERFORMANCE FACTOR AND MUST BE ADDRESSED. THIRD, THE RELATIVE LACK OF PREVIOUS RESEARCH INTO THE HUMAN-MACHINE INTERFACE FOR SERVOMANIPULATOR HANDLES MAKES IT NECESSARY TO DEVELOP NEW METHODS FOR EVALUATING THE PERFORMANCE OF THE ASM MASTER CONTROLLER HANDLE.