Team-Level Properties for Haptic Human-Swarm Interactions
Egerstedt, Magnus B.
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This paper explores how haptic interfaces should be designed to enable effective human-swarm interactions. When a single operator is interacting with a team of mobile robots, there are certain properties of the team that may help the operator complete the task at hand if these properties were fed back via haptics. However, not all team-level properties may be particularly well-suited for haptic feedback. In this paper, characteristics that make a property of a multi-agent system appropriate for haptic feedback are defined. The focus here is on leader-follower networks, in which one robot, the so-called leader, is controlled via an operator with a haptic device, whereas the remaining robots, the so-called followers, are tasked with maintaining distances between one another. Multi-agent manipulability, a property which describes how effective the leader is at controlling the movement of the followers, is proposed as one such appropriate property for haptic feedback in a human-swarm interaction scenario. Manipulability feedback is implemented using a PHANTOM Omni haptic joystick and experiments in which a team of mobile robots is controlled via a human operator with access to this feedback show that this is viable in practice.