A Configurable Telerobotics System for Human Factors Education and Research

L. Rothrock, S.P Kantamneni, C. Harvey, and S. Narayanan


Telerobotics, human factors, engineering education, human-robotic interaction


The emergence and explosive growth of the Internet has transformed not only the technological landscape, but also the educational one. Through the World Wide Web, it is possible to make engineering education available to everyone, anytime, anywhere. This article describes a configurable laboratory system that supports the study of human-robot interaction in a physical context. The laboratory system serves two primary purposes. First, it supports the transition of human factors engineering education from a group-oriented experience to an individual-oriented one. Second, it serves as a reference point for research to span traditional modelling (cognitive, task, and environment modelling) and teamwork concerns in an effort to address human-robotic issues. The system is based on the popular LEGO®MINDSTORMS™sets and enables tele-operations through the World Wide Web. We call it the LEGO®MINDSTORMS™– based Configurable Telerobotics System (LMCTS). This system was used in two graduate-level human factors and one graduate research and experimentation course. We report initial data collected in the research course and provide recommendations on the scalability of the LMCTS.

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