Cognitive Design of an Application Enabling Remote Bases to Receive Unmanned Helicopter Resupply

Cynthia Dominguez, Robert Strouse, Liza Papautsky, Brian Moon


This paper reports on a research project that combined cognitive task analysis (CTA) methods with innovative design processes to develop a handheld device application enabling a non-aviator to interact with a highly autonomous resupply helicopter. In recent military operations, unmanned helicopters have been used to resupply U.S. Marines at remote forward operating bases (FOBs) and combat outposts (COPs). This use of unmanned systems saves lives by eliminating the need to drive through high-risk areas for routine resupply. The U.S. Navy is investing in research to improve the autonomy of these systems and the design of interfaces to enable a non-aviator Marine to safely and successfully interact with an incoming resupply helicopter using a simple, intuitive handheld device application. In this research, we collected data from multiple stakeholders to develop requirements, use cases, and design storyboards that have been implemented and demonstrated during flight tests in early 2014.


Unmanned, helicopter, handheld device, interface design, human-robot interaction, cognitive task analysis, user experience

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