NSF-funded study will examine how humans work with rescue robots

an emergency responder prepares a drone for flight

Image: Research Communications and Public Relations

Three faculty-researchers at Texas A&M University received federal funding to further study interactions between humans and rescue robots during Hurricane Harvey.

Assistant professors Ranjana Mehta and S. Camille Peres, both in the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health at the School of Public Health, and Raytheon Professor Robin Murphy in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering in the College of Engineering, were awarded a National Science Foundation Rapid Response Research (RAPID) grant.

The grant will allow researchers to provide critical and timely information on how humans interacted with robots during robot-assisted recovery operations in the Texas Gulf Coast and surrounding locations.

“Because of the increasing need of damage assessment using robots, there is a critical need to examine human and robotic interactions during recovery operations,” Mehta said. “Our research will focus on the relationship between individuals and the unmanned aerial vehicles they pilot to achieve specific recovery tasks such as surveillance and inspections in dynamically changing and unstable environments.”

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