Published in Proceedings from the SPIE Conference on Robotic and Semi-Robotic Ground Vehicle Technology: Orlando, Florida, Volume 3366, April 13, 1998, pages 52-60.
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This paper reviews on-going collaborative efforts between the Colorado School of Mines and Clark-Atlanta University in cooperative assistance for coordination and control of multiple vehicles. It reports on progress in developing an intelligent assistance agent (IAA) for aiding a human operator in diagnosing problems and generating recovery strategies in remote ground robots. The current work has focused on the identification and incorporation of categories of additional information from multiple robots and other agents. These categories are: mission-related sources, such as peer robots working nearby; facility-related sources, such as security cameras; and opportunistically available agents, such as overhead satellites or humans working in the area as part of another mission. The incorporation of additional sources of information requires enhancements to the previously developed teleVIA architecture. In particular, the teleVIA IAA must provide more strategic management support (reminding operator of resources, impact of reallocation of resources on mission,etc.), sophisticated viewpoint and data management and presentation, and simplified control of the additional agents for diagnosis and recovery activities (move to robot and examine, corroborate sensor X, etc.) These enhancements are encapsulated in software agents within the IAA.