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Balancing Automation with Human-in-the-Loop Design: DESIGNING MOTION™

posted Jul 25, 2015, 11:12 AM by Daniel Dockter   [ updated Sep 13, 2015, 11:38 AM ]

Balancing Automation with Human-in-the-Loop Design: DESIGNING MOTION™

The images below show the carrier taxiing control unit for the US NAVY's X-47B Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle - Demonstrator (UCAS-D) and the X47-B itself being controlled by a member of the flight deck crew. The X-47B is a highly capable Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV); however, the system is not trusted to autonomously position itself prior to or after flight. 

While some components of autonomous operations benefit from low-latency logic, some high-level decision-making components benefit from a human in the loop. An example of this design approach is the X47-B hand-held carrier taxiing control unit. A human is entrusted for adaptable control where a mishap could cause the greatest disruption. An intelligent robotic system can make logical decisions; however, it cannot hold responsibility.

In systems where the human in the loop cannot be near the controlled system, latency can become an issue. New strategies are required to apply these principles to articulated robotic systems that maintain adaptable control but avoid latency issues during operation. This becomes especially important when the autonomous system is mobile and carries out tasks where the exact motion is not repeatable from one operation to the next. In other words, an ideal system would only need to be told what and when to do something and not exactly how to do it every time.

As ROVs, robotic automation, and sensors continue to develop, remotely operated systems will continue to shift to something more closely resembling a Remotely Automated Vehicle (RAV).


x-47 4

Carrier Taxiing Control Unit (Above)


X47-B UCAS-D Controlled by Flight Deck Crew (Above)



For more information, visit our Dynamic Drive™ and ROV technology pages or follow the links above.

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