Human-robot interactions during the robot-assisted urban search and rescue response at the World Trade Center
The World Trade Center (WTC) rescue response provided an unfortunate opportunity to study the human-robot interactions (HRI) during a real unstaged rescue for the first time. A post-hoc analysis was performed on the data collected during the response, which resulted in 17 findings on the impact of the environment and conditions on the HRI: the skills displayed and needed by robots and humans, the details of the Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) task, the social informatics in the USAR domain, and what information is communicated at what time. The results of this work impact the field of robotics by providing a case study for HRI in USAR drawn from an unstaged USAR effort. Eleven recommendations are made based on the findings that impact the robotics, computer science, engineering, psychology, and rescue fields. These recommendations call for group organization and user confidence studies, more research into perceptual and assistive interfaces, and formal models of the state of the robot, state of the world, and information as to what has been observed.