A Multidisciplinary Approach to Learning Human-Robot Interaction (HRI) Through Real-World Problem Solving—The “BUSA Dig”

Rob Blain, Alex Ferworn, Jean Li, Jimmy Tran, Michael Carter


This article examines a cross-disciplinary approach to learning human-robot interaction (HRI) through real-world problem solving. The problem originated from the need of archaeologists at the University of California, Berkeley, and Ryerson University to safely explore archaeologically significant areas disturbed by heavy looting activities at the ancient site of el-Hibeh, Egypt. The learning objectives were developed through interdisciplinary collaboration of three departments at Ryerson University. The deliverable was an HRI final examination—known as the “BUSA Dig”—in which students teleoperated a robot of their own design and manufacture that explored and mapped a simulated archaeological site. The students participated in the examination through their membership in one of six mixed groups composed of undergraduate computer science and graduate digital media students. At the end of the exam, students were expected to understand and explain HRI principles, paradigms, and metrics, construct appropriate robots that could survive and function in a defined environment, and employ mobile and teleoperated robots that solved problems.



Human-robot interaction, teleoperation, HRI education, archaeology robotics

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5898/JHRI.6.2.Blain


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