NASA SBIR 2010 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 10-1 X14.01-9081
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Technologies for Non-Invasive Measurement and Analysis of Human Task Performance
PROPOSAL TITLE: Assessing Human Task Performance when Performing Electronic Procedures

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
TRACLabs, Inc.
100 N.E. Loop 410, Suite 520
San Antonio, TX 78216 - 6363
(281) 461-7884

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Debra Schreckenghost
100 N.E. Loop 410, Suite 520
San Antonio, TX 78216 - 6363
(281) 461-7884

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 2
End: 3

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Limited astronaut time can result in high crew workload and fatigue during International Space Station (ISS) operations. Additionally crew skills can decline over extended mission duration onboard ISS. These stressors can impact task performance both in terms of increased errors and decreased efficiency. As humans go deeper into space, these issues will become even more pronounced. Methods are needed to monitor tasks as they are performed and to detect degraded task performance. TRACLabs proposes to develop algorithms and software for monitoring human performance of procedures. Our approach will integrate performance measuring software with procedure software and the displays used to execute procedures. We will build on prior work by TRACLabs on the Procedure Representation Language (PRL) and our agent software that aids humans interacting with PRL procedures. The performance measuring software will use techniques developed at the University of Pittsburgh that monitor keystrokes and mouse utilization to compute the speed and accuracy of individual pointing and text entry actions and adherence to procedure definitions. We will adapt techniques for measuring task performance of the disabled to measuring task performance of the able-bodied when stressed. We propose that performance changes due to these situational disabilities can be detected in the same way as performance changes due to physical disabilities. These techniques are particularly attractive for use at NASA because they are non-invasive and do not require additional equipment to implement. Performance measures will be computed in real-time as tasks are performed and thus will be available for use during task performance. Procedure information will guide the collection and interpretation of the human task performance data.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
As NASA human exploration missions go further into space, astronauts must adjust to longer duration missions with less real-time support from Earth. For such missions, situational disabilities like fatigue, high workload, and skill-loss - already a problem for ISS - will only become more common. ISS provides an invaluable testbed for experimenting with techniques to detect and remediate such degraded task performance. The proposed project provides a precursor to conducting task performance experiments on the ISS. We propose to prove out non-invasive techniques for measuring task performance in real-time in an ISS like environment. We will use ISS procedures represented electronically in the NASA developed Procedure Representation Language. We will emulate the way these procedures are used with the ISS PCS displays, or next generation concepts being developed for Orion. As a result, we expect the Phase II project to produce techniques and technologies useful for such ISS experiments.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Degraded task performance due to situational disabilities is not unique to NASA. Soldiers interacting with intelligent robotics and smart weapons under stressful circumstances are subject to similar performance effects. And like NASA the Department of Defense (DOD) relies on procedures to guide task performance. In consequence the proposed technology for detecting degraded performance should be of interest to DOD.

This technology has application in the private sector as well. There is growing demand for technologies that increase the independence of an aging populace and enable seniors to remain in their homes longer. The proposed technology has potential application as part of home monitoring and automation technology. Seniors would interact with smart appliances through intelligent electronic instructions that monitor and correct the actions they take. This should improve both safety and quality of life.

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.)
Man-Machine Interaction
Physiological/Psychological Countermeasures

Form Generated on 09-03-10 12:12