The effects of cue utilization and target-related information on target detection during a simulated drone search and rescue task

Shaheen Shekh, Jaime C. Auton, Mark W. Wiggins

Research output: Contribution to journalConference paper


Remotely piloted vehicles or 'drones' have become ubiquitous both privately and commercially. One of the numerous applications for drones involves the search and rescue for specified targets. The use of 'cues' during target detection has been shown to improve performance and reduce cognitive demands in many environments. This study examined the relationship between cue utilization and level of target detail during a high-fidelity simulated drone search and rescue task. Seventy-six undergraduate students from an Australian University operated a payload (long range camera) to detect a 'target' (a bus driver stranded in the Utah desert) while flying on a pre-programmed flight path. The results indicated that the provision of detailed target information was associated with greater rates of target detection. Further, participants with higher cue utilization were more likely to locate the target. Finally, participants with higher cue utilization, and provided with basic target information, were more likely to locate the target than participants with lower cue utilization. The practical and theoretical implications of the outcomes are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)227-231
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society Annual Meeting
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2018
EventHuman Factors and Ergonomics Society Annual Meeting (62nd : 2018) - Philadelphia, United States
Duration: 1 Oct 20185 Oct 2018


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