Challenges in control room design

The recent introduction of novel, partly automized working processes, which are operated via modern ICT, such as wall displays, smartphones and tablets, leads to major changes in control room design. Applying more innovative ICT enables a variety of new, collaborative working procedures, which are expected to lead to even more efficient and safer operations. Operators no longer depend on physical locations close to the controlled processes, but are able to work proactively over long distances.

Challenges in introducing new systems and operations in control rooms arise from cognitive and ergonomic requirements towards hard- and software as well as an optimum fit of task and equipment. However, challenges also arise from the introduction and development processes themselves. For both challenges HFC provides support and solution approaches.

Process-related measures comprise a consequently applied, user-centered, participative design process, change management, and respective training measures. Measures for design and development relate to the application of relevant standards and recommendations, the focus on the task at hand, the working context and the user skills, as well as the consideration of recent control room research.

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HFC at the 2nd Innovation Panel “Autonomous, mobile services – services for mobility”.

On June 4th and 5th the 2nd Innovation Panel “Autonomous, mobile services – services for mobility” took place at HTW’s Wilhelminenhof-Campus in Berlin. The venue was hosted by the Society for the Advancement of Applied Computer Science (GFaI), the ZIM-funded cooperation network MoDiSeM (Mobile Services – Services for Mobility), Berlin Partner for Economy and Technology, and Hochschule für Technik und Wirtschaft Berlin (HTW Berlin). As part of MoDiSeM network HFC took the opportunity to actively shape the venue program with a company booth and a presentation. The guests at our booth were able to test the VR-environment for our project INTUITIV and came across a virtual mobile robot platform. We discussed possible application scenarios with our interested guests and producers of robotic systems. Taking the example of the INTUITIV scenario, our presentation was dedicated to the research question, how robotic systems should behave in day-to-day life to be comprehensible for us as users.

4th Future Congress “Bringing Technology to People” of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research BMBF

The future congress of BMBF took place May 21 and 22 in Bonn under the topic “with sovereignty into the digital future”. The event was stage for discussions on human-robot interaction and artificial intelligence. Many of the BMBF-funded joint research projects presented their developments. As consortium manager of our concomitant research project ARAIG we attended the congress, discussed research and progress with our colleagues from the different projects and tried out their research exhibits. Thomas gave an impulse presentation on our project Kamäleon  on Wednesday. We collected a lot of input, also for our other MRI-projects like MIRobO.

The day before the congress, ARAIG had invited all projects on service robotics to a meta consortial-meeting prepared by BAuA to the premises of the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs. During the event, central challenges for MRI from a labour research perspective were discussed, as well as research and legal aspects of an ethical design in assistance robotics, and practical solutions of data protection in assistance robotics research. The animated, practice-related exchange was a successful entry point into the topic and an excellent preparation for the future congress.

Successful World ATM Congress for HFC

Last week we presented the newest developments of MasterMAN, our assistance system for remote tower control, at the World ATM Congress in Madrid together with our partner m-click.aero. Our booth was quite busy, especially with visits from ANSPs, suppliers, and airports.

We were very excited about having company from Saab. Our cooperating partner currently tests the Remote Workload Planner, a facet of our MasterMAN, in a comprehensive validation study in Sweden. This week Rodney attends the study and is ready to answer questions during the Open Day on 21st of March in Växjö.

Visit HFC at the World ATM Congress in Madrid

From March 12 – 14 the annual World ATM Congress takes place in Madrid. We will present the newest developments of MasterMAN, our assistance system for remote tower control, at booth 375 together with our partner m-click.aero.

Since 2017 we are cooperating with Saab, the remote tower control pioneer and market leader for the related remote tower solutions. Saab is supplier of LFV, the Swedish ANSP. Saab and LFV are the first cooperative, which brought remote airport control into operations in Linköping, Sundsvall und Örnsköldsvik.

We are very much looking forward to welcoming you in Madrid.

HFC presents at two conferences

Microphone in front of a crowd - Photo by Kane Reinholdtsen on Unsplash

We start 2019 with paper and presentation contributions at two renowned domestic and international conferences.

Vaishnavi Upadrasta together with Harald Kolrep und Astrid Oehme successfully launched the paper Improve your Task Analysis! Efficiency, Quality and Effectiveness increase in Task Analysis using a Software Tool at the 10th International Conference on Applied Human Factors and Ergonomics (AHFE 2019), which Vaishnavi will present there in July in Washington D.C.

As many as four contributions in the fields of human-robot interaction and task analysis were accepted at the 23. Fachtagung der Gesellschaft für angewandte Wirtschaftspsychologie (GWPs), which is hosted in March by HMKW Berlin:

Hanns-Peter Horn will present on Now what might you be up to, mate? – Forschungsbedarfe zu Intuitivität und Berechenbarkeit robotischer Systeme im Alltag.

Paul Schweidler will report on Der Einfluss der äußeren Gestaltung eines Service‐Roboters auf Anthropomorphismus und User‐Experience as well as on ERICa – Mensch‐Roboter‐Interaktionen klassifizieren mit dem Environment Robot Interaction Canvas, the latter together with Astrid Oehme and Thomas Jürgensohn.

Vaishnavi Upadrasta will talk about a method for assessing the quality of a task analysis.

Our contributions are closely related to the research projects KUKoMo, INTUITIV and ARAIG. We are very much looking forward to an active discussion with the conference participants.

We are looking for deaf and hearing signers!

As part of CONTENT4ALL, we are currently running a survey for deaf and hearing signers. Therefore, we want to gather needs and wishes to a system that makes TV more accessible for the Deaf by providing a virtual signer.

We ask domain experts to support our project by participating in this short online survey (filling out takes only approximately 15 minutes). The only requisite is that you speak a sign language (no matter which one). The survey is available in two versions:

Please also draw the attention of your acquaintances to the survey. We are looking forward to your participation!

New HFC project report published by German Federal Highway Research Institute

A project report of HFC has been published, which was prepared in the project Entwicklung der Fahr- und Verkehrskompetenz mit zunehmender Fahrerfahrung / Development of driving and traffic competence with increasing driving experience conducted for the German Federal Highway Research Institute BASt.

The aim of this research project was to develop an implementation concept for a longitudinal study for the recording of the development of the driving and traffic competence of novice drivers over time. The basis for this is a theoretical framework for driving skill, driving competence and their increase by practice and experience which we derived based on theoretical considerations and against the background of published findings regarding the traffic safety of young and novice drivers.

The report is available in German on the BASt website.

Workshop on media usage

Last week, as part of the CONTENT4ALL project, we conducted an interactive workshop with students from the Ernst-Adolf-Eschke-School. The Eschke-Schule is a Berlin based school for the Deaf where all the 5 participating students of the 10th grade speak German Sign Language. The CONTENT4ALL-Project is an EU-funded project that develops technologies that will facilitate the production of accessible TV programs in the future.

With the help of flipcharts, we developed typical media and programs as well as their advantages and disadvantages that students use. Using sample videos, we discussed what aspects they may or may not like about current sign-language TV programs. At the end, the students let their creativity run wild: as heads of the “Media for All” department of a major German television station, the students developed and drew their ideas of how television in future should be. All results are directly connected to the project work and form the basis for further system development.

We not only enjoyed this workshop but also learned a lot. We heartily thank

  • the students who participated with full enthusiasm,
  • their teacher who ensured the smooth flow of communication,
  • as well as the management of the Eschke School, who supported us through their willingness to conduct this workshop!

We look forward to the workshop at the Wilhelm-von-Türck-School in Potsdam after the summer holidays.

New project Kamäleon on urban mobility

We start to work on the project “Kamäleon” (constructive adaptive mobility by light vehicles without borders). The aim of the project is to further develop kickTrike©, an electric light vehicle by Constin GmbH.

This vehicle is specially designed for urban and intermodal transport. It can transport loads and can also be taken on public transport like a bicycle.

In the future, the kickTrike© will be able to adapt even better to mixed traffic and be ready to drive on the road as well as on footpaths and cycle paths. It automatically changes its visual appearance when it switches from one traffic area (e. g. road) to another (e. g. cycle path). User tests are used to evaluate the acceptance of such a vehicle for mixed traffic. One of the goals is to create a green alternative to cars.