Optical illusions and augmented graphics for manned and robotic guidance and control
Kelley, Robert Stuart
Tuggle, Francis D.
Doctor of Philosophy
Piloting and many related control activities, especially remote manipulation via teleoperations and robotics, stand to benefit substantially from better means of communication between controller and controlled. We have investigated one such approach: the use of augmented displays on a cathode ray terminal (CRT) for controlling simulated motion in microgravity. Such displays, which have been shown to be highly effective in a variety of applications, provide information to the operator which goes beyond that which is found in nature, and thereby emphasize important aspects of a task and minimize irrelevant ones. Using this approach, we attempted to develop stylized graphical displays, incorporating augmented feedback by distorting the background of the scene under display, for purposes of flight control and/or control of a robotic arm. Besides attempting to utilize transformations of the scene itself for informational purposes, the displays we developed represent significant departures from previous methods in two notable respects. First we have attempted to design our instrumentation to make use of peripheral rather than exclusively foveal vision, thus broadening the bandwidth of perception by vision. Second, we attempted to incorporate optical illusions intended to enhance the perception of depth and apparent motion to provide better and more compelling feedback for the operator performing the task. Data from a small group of subjects suggest that the illusion of depth produced significantly better performance in that this was faster, had fewer errors, and interfered less with a secondary task (all correlations were significant, with p $<$.0001), while the main effect for peripheral vision was not significant but other evidence suggests it improved performance nonetheless. A second experiment indicated that while pilots' acquisition of task skills differed significantly from nonpilots' (p =.00078), optical illusions augmenting the effect of depth and of motion induced profound differences in performance (p =.000006), although masked by practice effects, etc., and in control motion (p =.000006) where this augmented feedback eliminated any tendency to overcontrol in pilots and nonpilots both.
Experimental psychology; Computer science; Aerospace engineering