Understanding the role of trust in human-robot teams

Due to advances in science and technology, robotic systems have increased in utility and ubiquity in recent years. Indeed, as these systems become smarter and more adaptive, the idea of a human-robot team moves from science fiction to reality. The advantages of human-robot teams have been demonstrated through increased operational capability for unsafe environments and complex activities that impose hazardous levels of workload and complex information integration

However, for this potential to be fully realised, existing challenges within the scope of human-robot interaction need to be addressed. One of these challenges is the degree to which the human operator trusts and subsequently relies on the robot. Another is a deeper understanding of the cognitive processes that underlie the transition between modes of control, particularly in a shared-control context (e.g., joint control of a vehicle).

I investigated these challenges in a project, in collaboration with Defence Science & Technology Group and the University of Adelaide as a part of my Masters of Applied Psychology thesis. My work was subsequently published in the international conference on science and innovation for land power (ICSILP). Human-machine trust is an area of research that I still maintain.

Defence Science & Technology Group

Murdoch & Adelaide University