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Comparing performance and situation awareness in USAR unit tasks in a virtual and real environment

Author: Horsch, C.H.G. · Smets, N.J.J.M. · Neerincx, M.A. · Cuijpers, R.A.
Publisher: KIT
Place: Karlsruhe, Germany
Source:Comes, T.Fiedrich, al, Proceedings in 10th International Conference on Information Systems for Crisis Response and Management (ISCRAM 2013), 556-560
Identifier: 574996
Keywords: Robotics · USAR · Human-robot interaction · Teamwork · Team performance · Virtual environment · Shared situation awareness · Team identification · Information systems · Situation awareness · Virtual reality · Information Society · Human · PCS - Perceptual and Cognitive Systems · BSS - Behavioural and Societal Sciences


A convenient way to test Urban Search And Rescue (USAR) robots would be in virtual environments (VEs). Evaluations in VEs are generally accepted as alternative for real scenarios. There are obvious differences between operation in a real and virtual environment. Nonetheless, the current experiment showed no significant differences in situation awareness (SA) and performance during several elementary tasks (e.g. slalom) between a virtual world and a previous experiment in reality (Mioch, Smets, & Neerincx, 2012). Only small dependencies between the unit tasks were found. The effect of individual differences (like gender, km driven per year, and gaming experience), were significant for certain elementary tasks. Testing robots in virtual environments could still be useful even if differences between VE and reality exist, since comparisons of different conditions in VE seems to have the same results as the same comparison in the field (Bishop & Rohrmann, 2003; Van Diggelen, Looije, Mioch, Neerincx, & Smets, 2012).