Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Legacy Department

Mechanical Engineering

Committee Chair/Advisor

Wang, Yue

Committee Member

Wagner, John

Committee Member

Humphrey, Laura


Robot controller design is usually hierarchical with both high-level task and motion planning and low-level control law design. In the presented works, we investigate methods for low-level and high-level control designs to guarantee joint performance of human-robot interaction (HRI). In the first work, a low-level method using the switched linear quadratic regulator (SLQR), an optimal control policy based on a quadratic cost function, is used. By incorporating measures of robot performance and human workload, it can be determined when to utilize the human operator in a method that improves overall task performance while reducing operator workload. This method is demonstrated via simulation using the complex dynamics of an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV), showing this method can successfully overcome such scenarios while maintaining reduced workload. An extension of this work to path planning is also presented for the purposes of obstacle avoidance with simulation showing human planning successfully guiding the AUV around obstacles to reach its goals. In the high-level approach, formal methods are applied to a scenario where an operator oversees a group of mobile robots as they navigate an unknown environment. Autonomy in this scenario uses specifications written in linear temporal logic (LTL) to conduct symbolic motion planning in a guaranteed safe, though very conservative, approach. A human operator, using gathered environmental data, is able to produce a more efficient path. To aid in task decomposition and real-time switching, a dynamic human trust model is used. Simulations are given showing the successful implementation of this method.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.