Sharing Control with a Robotic Ball: About continuous sharing of control between two agents

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This research investigates the possibilities of a system for shared control suggested by Poncela and others in 2009 [22]. They propose to continuously share control between two agents by weighting their motion commands with the locally computed efficiencies of those motion commands. From earlier literature, four important properties for shared control are extracted. The system for shared control presented here supports three of those properties: it supports the different capabilities of the agents, adjusts to the performance of the agents and creates a seamless integration of the motion commands. To explore these properties an experiment is conducted with a robotic ball called Sphero. This proves to be a simple and low-cost environment for research on shared control in path navigation. In the conducted experiment the system decreases the length of a path, driven with the robotic ball Sphero, with 29.6% (p < 0.001), the duration of a path with 20.0% (p < 0.05) and increases the efficiencies of the actual given command with 11.4% (p < 0.001). These results indicate that this system is indeed capable of increasing the performance of a human agent by sharing control with an intelligent system. Keywords: shared control, shared autonomy, Sphero, autonomous robot, human operator.
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