Design and Field Evaluation of a Mission Specialist Interface for Small Unmanned Aerial Systems

Joshua M. Peschel, Brittany A. Duncan, Robin R. Murphy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article describes a small unmanned aerial system (sUAS) interface that allows untrained responders acting in a Mission Specialist role to effectively coordinate with a Pilot and directly control the UAS payload. Currently, responders view the same interface as the Pilot and give verbal directions for navigation and payload control. Field experiments with 26 experts in chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear response evaluated two interfaces for a chemical train derailment incident staged at Disaster City®. Responder participants had their own role-specific tablet display: one interface passively filtered Pilot-only artifacts from the payload camera video feed; the second interface added responder-specific indicators and information and allowed the participants to actively control the payload pan, tilt, and zoom and to take pictures. A majority of responders reported greater role empowerment for similar tasks using the responder-specific interface. This article demonstrates that a responder-specific interface is preferred by untrained responders instead of viewing the same interface as the Pilot in sUAS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1423-1434
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Social Robotics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Aug 2022


  • Human robot interaction
  • Tablet interface
  • UAV

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • General Computer Science
  • Social Psychology
  • Philosophy
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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