Date of Award

Spring 2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



Committee Director

James Bliss

Committee Member

Xiaoxiao Hu

Committee Member

Yusuke Yamani


This study examined the utility of eye-tracking as a control method during tele-operation in a simulated task environment. Operators used a simulator to tele-operate a search robot using three different control methods: fully manual, hybrid, and eye-only. Using Endsely’s (1995a) three level SA model and a natural interface (e.g., eye-tracking) as a more user-centered approach to tele-operation, the study measured objective, electroencephalogram, and subjective (NASA-TLX) measures to reflect both workload and situation awareness during tele-operation. The results showed a significant reduction in mental workload, as reflected by EEG measures. However a significant effect was found where the operators’ perceived mental workload scores, as reflected by the TLX, significantly increased while using the natural interface. The difference in perceived mental workload was also mirrored by a post hoc analysis where frustration scores, also reflected by the TLX, supported the initial findings of the differences in perceived mental workload scores between the three conditions. The results of this study can be explained by both incomplete mental models of motor movements and differences in affordances offered by the different control conditions. Additional considerations for system designers and future research are also discussed.


In Copyright. URI: This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s).





Included in

Psychology Commons