Teaching machines about human stress
What if you could build smart machines that are aware of an operator’s workload and can adapt themselves accordingly? A key to developing machines like that is to track human behaviour in Human in the Loop simulators.
When designing a new product, or improving an old one, engineers often rely on mathematical simulations before they build prototypes. But there are always things that such calculations can’t account for, especially when it comes to human behaviour. Volvo’s Human in the Loop (HITL) simulators connect a real-life operator to a simulated machine, filling the gap between maths and actual prototypes.
Observing human behaviour
One use of HITL technology is when creating machines that are aware of the operator’s workload. You can’t expose a real human being to stress in a potentially dangerous situation, but you also cannot calculate how human beings will react under pressure without actually stressing them. HITL simulators make it possible to assess workload by measuring psychophysiological factors such as heart rate, finger temperature and galvanic skin response in a realistic simulation. That information is then used to develop technology that helps the operator and reduces the workload. Volvo Group’s engineers focus especially on making machines smarter; developing support systems and autonomous functions that can actively assist the operator.
HITL is beneficial in any project where a human being plays a significant role. It can be used when designing everything from new pedals to complex active safety systems. At Volvo Group our main focus is to make machine and human interaction as harmonious as possible, leading to less stress and reduced effort. Ultimately, it enables the operator to focus more on the actual task, promoting considerable long-term benefits in terms of safety, fuel efficiency and productivity.
Read more about Volvo Group innovations on http://techworld.volvogroup.com/