Smart Interaction Device for VTOL UAS

Period of Performance: 07/18/2012 - 01/31/2014

$497K

Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Soar Technology, Inc.
3600 Green Court Array
Ann Arbor, MI 48105
Principal Investigator

Abstract

Current Unmanned Air Systems (UAS) require a great deal of specialized training and experience to use effectively. Furthermore, their use is dominated by a paradigm of control in which a highly trained operator is giving very precise, low-level commands to a UAS. As UAS become more autonomous, they will require less control, but will instead require input from a range of users, including high-level directions or other kinds of mission-relevant information. However, current operator control units (OCUs) are stuck in the paradigm of explicit control. To take advantage of increasing autonomy and to broaden access to a wider range of users, new kinds of robust natural interfaces, including multiple modes of input and output, must be developed that allow users with various skill levels to interact with UAS in a variety of environments. SoarTech proposes to leverage our prior work on a multi-modal interfaces for interacting with autonomous systems. We will extend this work to the VTOL UAS domain, making it robust to a range of user skill levels and experience, including multiple redundant forms of input and output that are appropriate to a range of environments in which forward deployed units need to interact with autonomous UAS.