Cognitive Based Design of a Human Machine Interface for Telenavigation of a Space Rover

ABSTRACT: Human Machine Interface (HMI) design is a critical field of work because no general guidelines or rules have been assessed. In order to aid practitioners to design effective HMIs, different methodologies have been studied. To understand task objectives and plan goal-oriented actions, human operators exploit specific cognitive processes that have to be supported with advanced interfaces. Including cognitive aspects in HMI design allows generating an information flow that reduces user mental workload, increasing his/her situation awareness. This paper focuses on design and test of a Graphical User Interface (GUI) for the telenavigation of a space rover that makes the cognitive process of the user a priority in relation to the other development guidelines. To achieve this, a Cognitive Task Analysis (CTA) technique, known as Applied Cognitive Work Analysis (ACWA), is combined with a multi-agent empirical test to ensure the GUI effectiveness. The ACWA allows evaluating mission scenarios, i.e. piloting the rover on the Mars surface, in order to obtain a model of the human cognitive demands that arise in these complex work domains. These demands can be used to obtain an effective information flow between the GUI and the operator. The multi-agent empirical test, on the other hand, allows an early feedback on the user mental workload aiming to validate the GUI. The result of the methodology is a GUI that eases the information flow through the interface, enhancing operator's performance.