Nav: Home

Changes in perspective may affect how useful drones really are

October 10, 2017

A recent study finds that users have trouble utilizing images from unmanned aerial systems (UASs), or drones, to find the position of objects on the ground. The finding highlights challenges facing the use of UAS technology for emergency operations and other applications, while offering guidance for future technology and training development.

"Because UASs operate at heights that most normal aircraft do not, we are getting new aerial perspectives of our surroundings," says Stephen Cauffman, a Ph.D. student at North Carolina State University and lead author of a paper describing the work. "We wanted to know how good people are at integrating these perspectives into their perception of the real world environment - which can be relevant in situations such as security or emergency response operations.

"For example, if we're using UASs to identify a trouble spot, how good are we at using visual information from UASs to point to the correct spot on a map?"

To address this, researchers had a group of 18 study participants evaluate different views of an urban environment that included multiple objects. In one scenario, participants were shown an aerial view of the environment, then a ground level view of the same environment with one object missing. Participants were then asked to show where the missing object had been located. The study also had participants perform similar tasks comparing two aerial images, two ground images and a ground image followed by an aerial image.

The researchers found that comparing two aerial views got the best results, but that switching from an aerial view to a ground view posed the biggest challenge for study participants. When shown an aerial view followed by a ground view, participants took at least a second longer to estimate where the missing object was - and their estimates were four times farther away from the correct placement of the object than when comparing two aerial views.

"This tells us that incorporating UASs into some situations, such as emergency response, may not necessarily be as useful as one might think," says Doug Gillan, a professor of psychology at NC State and co-author of the paper.

"It also offers insights into how we can modify training or interface design to improve performance for UAS users," Cauffman says.

"A lot of work remains to be done in this area," Cauffman adds. "We've already conducted additional work on the role of landmarks and perspective in how people are able to process aerial visual information."

The paper, "Eye In The Sky: Investigating Spatial Performance Following Perspective Change," will be presented at the Annual Meeting of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, being held Oct. 9-14 in Austin, Tex.
-end-


North Carolina State University

Related Emergency Response Articles:

Academic emergency departments are always open to all who need care
''Academic emergency departments never deny emergency care to any person.'' That is the statement put forth in a commentary from the Board of Directors of the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine and the Senior Editorial Board of Academic Emergency Medicine journal.
Key failings in government's approach to COVID-19 preparations and emergency response
The UK government made key failings in their strategic preparations and emergency response to coronavirus and this, in turn, undermined the NHS's ability to cope with the crisis.
Why is appendicitis not always diagnosed in the emergency department?
A new study examines the factors associated with a potentially missed diagnosis of appendicitis in children and adults in the emergency department.
Out-of-network costs soar for non-emergency hospitalizations
Researchers at The Ohio State University analyzed claims from more than 22 million enrollees in private insurance plans and found that out-of-pocket costs for non-emergency out-of-network hospital care nearly doubled in five years.
The cost of waiting in emergency departments
Wait times in US emergency departments are increasing. A new study published in Economic Inquiry indicates that prolonging the wait time in the emergency department for a patient who arrives with a serious condition by 10 minutes will increase the hospital's cost to care for the patient by an average of 6%, and it will increase the cost to care for moderately severe cases by an average of 3%.
Emergency room or doctor's office?
A new study in the journal Heliyon, published by Elsevier, examines the relationship between the way individuals perceive and respond to threats (threat sensitivity) and where they most frequently seek medical care.
Licorice tea causes hypertensive emergency in patient
Licorice tea, a popular herbal tea, is not without health risks, as a case study of a man admitted to hospital for a high-blood pressure emergency demonstrates in CMAJ.
Network driving emergency healthcare research
The Emergency Medicine Foundation -- Australia has successfully piloted a Research Support Network to foster research in more than 30 Queensland public hospital emergency departments.
New program keeps elderly out of emergency
A medical program developed by emergency and palliative care clinicians at a large Australian hospital is seeing elderly aged care residents successfully treated at home.
Medical errors in the emergency room: Understanding why
Medical errors are estimated to cause 250,000 deaths per year in the US.
More Emergency Response News and Emergency Response Current Events

Trending Science News

Current Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2020.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Making Amends
What makes a true apology? What does it mean to make amends for past mistakes? This hour, TED speakers explore how repairing the wrongs of the past is the first step toward healing for the future. Guests include historian and preservationist Brent Leggs, law professor Martha Minow, librarian Dawn Wacek, and playwright V (formerly Eve Ensler).
Now Playing: Science for the People

#566 Is Your Gut Leaking?
This week we're busting the human gut wide open with Dr. Alessio Fasano from the Center for Celiac Research and Treatment at Massachusetts General Hospital. Join host Anika Hazra for our discussion separating fact from fiction on the controversial topic of leaky gut syndrome. We cover everything from what causes a leaky gut to interpreting the results of a gut microbiome test! Related links: Center for Celiac Research and Treatment website and their YouTube channel
Now Playing: Radiolab

The Flag and the Fury
How do you actually make change in the world? For 126 years, Mississippi has had the Confederate battle flag on their state flag, and they were the last state in the nation where that emblem remained "officially" flying.  A few days ago, that flag came down. A few days before that, it coming down would have seemed impossible. We dive into the story behind this de-flagging: a journey involving a clash of histories, designs, families, and even cheerleading. This show is a collaboration with OSM Audio. Kiese Laymon's memoir Heavy is here. And the Hospitality Flag webpage is here.