Research in autonomy focuses on the description, design, and decision-making in systems involving interactions between human and machine, robotics, and automation. Applications range from collaborative human-robot systems, autonomous systems under human supervisory command, synthetic human/autonomous-agent environment such as multi-player games, and assistive systems for elderly and handicapped individuals.
Example projects in this area include:
- Anaysis of team decision-making using multi-player games: "Bad Choices!! Using Big, Long and Multivariate Data to Explore Blunders Made by Teams and Individuals, Experts and Novices in Dynamic Skilled Performance" Wayne Gray and David Mondonca (ONR)
- "Robot Assistant in Composites Manufacturing" John Wen (ARM Institute)
- "Robot Assistant for C4-C7 Spinal Cord Injured Individuals" John Wen (Craig Nielsen Foundation)
- collaborative robots
- autonomous systems
- assistive robots
- Synthetic Environment, such as emersive multi-player games with virtual or augmented reality, may be used to simulate such systems for training, algorithm development, design, and optimization.
- Variable Autonomy addresses the variable partition of authority between human and automation.
- Efficiency / Robustness / Safety are issues that characterize the behavior and performance of human-automation systems.
- Ethics for autonomous systems will need to carefully considered in the system design to ensure consistency with designer's value.