Project Management

Technical University Graz


01.08.21 – 31.07.23



Contact person

Vanessa Kulcar

Assistance robots support emergency forces in dealing with crisis situations. However, fully autonomous systems are currently not applicable, neither in terms of acceptance by the emergency forces nor in terms of the state of the art. The EASIER project therefore focuses on semi-autonomous robot systems, where te degree of autonomy can be adapted in the interaction between operators and robots. The factors (1) trust in the robot system and (2) cognitive load during operation significantly influence the acceptance of such systems. In EASIER, well-founded, and field-applicable methods for measuring trust and cognitive load will be developed. Furthermore, the influence of the user interface, the autonomy level and a transparency module that presents decisions of the assistance system to the operator in an understandable way will be investigated. The developments will be evaluated by experimental studies with operators in realistic operational scenarios. Mobile manipulation for crisis situations is envisioned as an application scenario.

The primary innovation of the project is that the measurement of confidence and cognitive load as well as measures to improve them will be investigated in a well-founded way by an interdisciplinary team (psychologists, visualization experts, computer scientists, robotics experts, emergency forces). The planned direct coupling of the measurement of trust and cognitive load with possible changes in interaction design, autonomy management, and robot transparency will provide new insights into the nature of trust in assistive robots and bring the development of improved assistance systems. During the project, field tests are planned in which the measures for improving trust will be systematically evaluated and the implemented robot assistance functions will be tested in practice. Thus, the present project contributes significantly to the achievement of the tender objectives.

Project partners:

  • Technische Universität Graz
  • Berufsfeuerwehr Graz
  • Bundesministerium für Landesverteidigung
  • Disaster Competence Network Austria
  • Institut für Psychologie, Universität Graz
  • Institut für Maschinelles Sehen und Darstellen, Technische Universität Graz
  • Rosenbauer International AG

More info on the KIRAS website >