Future Military Operators Will Talk to their Drones
The voice recognition and vibrating feedback that make smartphones so much more fun will soon make military missions easier for drone operators. U.S. Air Force researchers are working on replacing operators' desktop computers with a more intuitive, voice-controlled systems over the next decade, Wired's Danger Room reported.
The operator wouldn't just be able to talk to the drone, giving commands such as, "Evasive action!" The robot would also talk to its controller, literally asking what to do when it runs into a suspicious object. The operator would talk to respond.
Other possible improvements include controllers that vibrate to communicate information – "the way an Xbox controller vibrates to alert a player he's taking damage within a game," Danger Room writes. Operators would also enjoy a better visual representation of data from the remote robot's sensors, perhaps laid out in a 3D scene, as in a video game.
As robots get more sophisticated, the computers that show their sensor data need to get simpler, Air Force Research Laboratory psychologist Mark Draper told Wired. Otherwise, it will become impossible for a person to understand all the data that's coming in.