In the HMI Lab, researchers at the Institute test new interaction technologies for human-machine interaction, develop and test new measurement methodologies and investigate collaborative work processes.
The work in the HMI Lab results from the requirements and open questions of the Institute's application-oriented research. Here, test setups and studies take place that generate robust empirical statements in order to be able to make important design decisions in the early phases of concept development. With little effort, generic workplaces are designed on which the performance of air traffic controllers, pilots and teams can be investigated. A range of interaction and measurement technologies are available for this purpose.
Fields of research
1. Innovative workplace for aviation operators
The laboratory offers the possibility to simulate operational concepts and workplaces in a simplified way in the early phases of their development. These include workstations that enable collaborative decision-making in airport management and flight guidance, virtual and augmented reality systems to support operators, but also a flexible cockpit simulator with touch displays. The focus here is on being able to quickly test novel concepts with human operators. It also allows to record the effect of these concepts, or components of the concepts, on the operator and performance. These results form a decision-making basis for further developments at the Institute.
2. Recording the condition of operators and their performance
When designing and evaluating highly automated or fully automated work environments, the effects on human cognition must be taken into account. For this reason, methods for recording and evaluating cognitive processes are being tested in the HMI Lab, which can be used in field trials or in operational use if suitable. These include eye movement measurement, EEG, fNIRS and so-called "wearables" for assessing metrics such as the heart rate.
The HMI Lab is a highly flexible facility for answering fundamental questions about interaction in studies conducted together with laypersons and experts. The structure of the lab is divided into different functional areas:
Measuring cognitive processes
Using various measuring instruments and methodologies, cognitive and physiological parameters can be recorded in the HMI Lab to draw conclusions about the state of the person and their performance: Are they exhausted? Overstrained? Or bored? Such measurements can be faster and more accurate than mere observations of performance and more objective than self-reports. Small, lightweight and portable devices allow for use in laboratory contexts as well as in realistic studies.
The following methods are used individually or even in combination in the HMI Lab: