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Human-Automation Allocations for Current Robotic Space OperationsWithin the Human Research Program, one risk delineates the uncertainty surrounding crew working with automation and robotics in spaceflight. The Risk of Inadequate Design of Human and Automation/Robotic Integration (HARI) is concerned with the detrimental effects on crew performance due to ineffective user interfaces, system designs and/or functional task allocation, potentially compromising mission success and safety. Risk arises because we have limited experience with complex automation and robotics. One key gap within HARI, is the gap related to functional allocation. The gap states: We need to evaluate, develop, and validate methods and guidelines for identifying human-automation/robot task information needs, function allocation, and team composition for future long duration, long distance space missions. Allocations determine the human-system performance as it identifies the functions and performance levels required by the automation/robotic system, and in turn, what work the crew is expected to perform and the necessary human performance requirements. Allocations must take into account each of the human, automation, and robotic systems capabilities and limitations. Some functions may be intuitively assigned to the human versus the robot, but to optimize efficiency and effectiveness, purposeful role assignments will be required. The role of automation and robotics will significantly change in future exploration missions, particularly as crew becomes more autonomous from ground controllers. Thus, we must understand the suitability of existing function allocation methods within NASA as well as the existing allocations established by the few robotic systems that are operational in spaceflight. In order to evaluate future methods of robotic allocations, we must first benchmark the allocations and allocation methods that have been used. We will present 1) documentation of human-automation-robotic allocations in existing, operational spaceflight systems; and 2) To gather existing lessons learned and best practices in these role assignments, from spaceflight operational experience of crew and ground teams that may be used to guide development for future systems. NASA and other space agencies have operational spaceflight experience with two key Human-Automation-Robotic (HAR) systems: heavy lift robotic arms and planetary robotic explorers. Additionally, NASA has invested in high-fidelity rover systems that can carry crew, building beyond Apollo's lunar rover. The heavy lift robotic arms reviewed are: Space Station Remote Manipulator System (SSRMS), Japanese Remote Manipulator System (JEMRMS), and the European Robotic Arm (ERA, designed but not deployed in space). The robotic rover systems reviewed are: Mars Exploration Rovers, Mars Science Laboratory rover, and the high-fidelity K10 rovers. Much of the design and operational feedback for these systems have been communicated to flight controllers and robotic design teams. As part of the mitigating the HARI risk for future human spaceflight operations, we must document function allocations between robots and humans that have worked well in practice.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Ames Research Center
Document Type
Marquez, Jessica J.
(NASA Ames Research Center Moffett Field, CA United States)
Chang, Mai L.
(NASA Johnson Space Center Houston, TX United States)
Beard, Bettina L.
(NASA Ames Research Center Moffett Field, CA United States)
Kim, Yun Kyung
(SGT, Inc. Moffett Field, CA, United States)
Karasinski, John A.
(NASA Ames Research Center Moffett Field, CA United States)
Date Acquired
February 15, 2018
Publication Date
January 22, 2018
Subject Category
Man/System Technology And Life Support
Report/Patent Number
Meeting Information
Meeting: Human Research Program Investigators'' Workshop
Location: Galveston, TX
Country: United States
Start Date: January 22, 2018
End Date: January 25, 2018
Sponsors: NASA Ames Research Center
Funding Number(s)
WBS: WBS 344494
Distribution Limits
Public Use Permitted.
robotic allocation
human-robotic allocation
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