NASA STTR 2009 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 09-2 T1.02-9928
RESEARCH SUBTOPIC TITLE: Information Technologies for Intelligent Planetary Robotics
PROPOSAL TITLE: Integration of Notification with 3D Visualization of Rover Operations

NAME: TRACLabs, Inc. NAME: Carnegie Mellon Silicon Valley
STREET: 100 N.E. Loop 410, Suite 520 STREET: NASA Research Park, Bldg 23
CITY: San Antonio CITY: Moffett Field
STATE/ZIP: TX  78216 - 4727 STATE/ZIP: CA  94305 - 2823
PHONE: (210) 822-2310 PHONE: (650) 335-2825

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Debra Schreckenghost
1012 Hercules
Houston, TX 77058 - 2722
(281) 461-7884

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 5
End: 6

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Future NASA exploration missions will rely on remote operation of robots. As human explorers move further away from Earth, robotic precursors will scout destinations and robotic assistants will perform tasks to reduce astronaut risk and workload. 3D visualization is a key component of how humans will interact with robots for these missions. When the operator engages a robot using visualization, there is a risk that he or she will become too focused on what is happening now in the vicinity of the robot and will not be aware of other important events that are not apparent in the field of view. This risk only increases when operations involve multiple robots. It is essential to ensure that the user does not miss important events that do not manifest in the vicinity of the robot. TRACLabs, Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), and Stinger Ghaffarian Technologies (SGT) propose to develop software for notifying users of 3D visualization about important notices without distracting users unnecessarily or adding to the visual clutter around the robot avatar. This software will monitor events from the robot or user, identify which events should be brought to the user's attention, and alert users in the 3D pane. The appearance of alerts is altered to shift a user's attention to new notices based on an assessment of the importance and urgency of the notice specific to the user. Thus the same notice may be presented to different users in different ways. Because notices are anchored to a screen overlay, they are visible regardless of what location the user is viewing in the 3D space. In Phase II we will implement this software and evaluate its effectiveness for NASA missions.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The notification software produced in Phase II will be immediately useful for NASA's future analog robotic field tests where VERVE provides 3D robot visualization. NASA's Robonaut 2 mission to ISS in FY11 is another near-term mission that could benefit from the proposed notification technology by alerting the human operator to important events that occur while he or she is interacting with the robot. The modularization of notice construction from notice presentation should ease integration of the notification software with other 3D visualization software that NASA might use in the future. Longer term, the techniques for determining when to shift the user's attention from the visualization and how to notify without increasing visual clutter should be useful when specifying flight support software for future exploration missions, including robotic precursors for human exploration, ranging from missions to Near Earth Asteroids (NEA) to Mars.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The United States Department of Defense (DOD) is making significant investment in military robots, including unmanned air vehicles for surveillance and search and rescue, unmanned ground vehicles for logistics, and surface robots for reconnaissance. 3D visualization of robots for military operations includes supervising multiple robots operating concurrently to accomplish a military objective. In such multi-robot operations, it is essential to shift the user's focus when another robot outside the current field of view requires attention. Thus the proposed technology for notification should be directly applicable to remote supervision of military robots. Since the military is actively funding research on human attention shifting during complex operations and visual de-cluttering of geospatial displays, the proposed approach should be both interesting to a variety of DOD customers and compatible with military robotic operations.

TECHNOLOGY TAXONOMY MAPPING (NASA's technology taxonomy has been developed by the SBIR-STTR program to disseminate awareness of proposed and awarded R/R&D in the agency. It is a listing of over 100 technologies, sorted into broad categories, of interest to NASA.)
Autonomous Reasoning/Artificial Intelligence
Human-Robotic Interfaces

Form Generated on 02-01-11 15:25