Human-Drone Partnerships for Emergency Response

Keywords: drones, software engineering, participatory design, object detection, first responders
Fall 2019 - Present
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The use of semi-autonomous Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) to support emergency response scenarios, such as fire surveillance and search and rescue, offers the potential for huge societal benefits. However, designing an effective solution in this complex domain represents a "wicked design" problem, requiring a careful balance between trade-offs associated with drone autonomy versus human control, mission functionality versus safety, and the diverse needs of different stakeholders. This paper focuses on designing for situational awareness (SA) using a scenario-driven, participatory design process. We developed SA cards describing six common design-problems, known as SA demons, and three new demons of importance to our domain. We then used these SA cards to equip domain experts with SA knowledge so that they could more fully engage in the design process. We designed a potentially reusable solution for achieving SA in multi-stakeholder, multi-UAV, emergency response applications.

This work was supported by NSF Award No. CNS-1931962.


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