The Underwater Survey Domain

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The Underwater Survey domain extends TRIPS into a domain that focuses on agent control and management. In contrast to the TRIPS-911 domain, this scenario builds and executes plans in collaboration with semi-autonomous robot agents. The main drive of this scenario is to develop a collaborative problem solving model with autonomous agents that can effectively integrate a human into a team of other humans and robotic agents. The goal is to create a natural system that allows the human to act and accomplish his goals without having a deep knowledge of the abilities and specifications of the other agents.

This domain also adds a significant multi-modal aspect to TRIPS, similar to that in the Medical Advisor domain. A map of the terrain and updated locations is available to the user, including a video display that can be used to see what the underwater robot is observing. Work on GUI management and effective multi-modal interaction is being done to allow the user to customize his environment through language and traditional means such as the keyboard or mouse.

Map of the underwater area being surveyed. The red box was highlighted by the user. Commands given to the robot to "survey this area" are appropriately referenced to this box, whose coordinates are then sent to the robot with a new collaborative objective to survey the area.

The Underwater Survey domain
There are three robots in the scenario, two of which are surface vehicles (float/drive on the water's surface) and one of which is an underwater vehicle. The human user is stationed on land, monitoring the robots through TRIPS with both language and GUI interfaces. The underwater robot cannot communicate except by relaying its messages through one or more surface vehicles located within adequate distance above it (the bandwidth is limited to a predefined amount). The task is for the human to survey and locate any mines within a certain area, using the robots available to him. The surface vehicles can move on the surface and transmit information. The underwater vehicle can move underwater, record video, and transmit information to one or more surface vehicles (if they are in range). This particular instance of the scenario involves the robot sending back a poor resolution video of a suspicious object it finds. The robot agents and the human user then work together to bring both surface vehicles over the underwater robot in order to increase the resolution appropriately. This involves several collaborative steps, including agent policy changes and/or removals.

More information on the TRIPS architecture can be found in Allen et al 2000 and Ferguson and Allen 1998.

Last change: 24 Nov 2003 by chambers