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Feb. 11, 2022

E234 - How Can One Person Operate 130 Drones Simultaneously?

This week on the show, we discuss the human factors challenges with remote unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in the context of controlling a drone swarm, and talk about the types of projects that would be most impressive to a prospective employer, and our thoughts on whiteboard exercises.

This week on the show, we discuss the human factors challenges with remote unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in the context of controlling a drone swarm, and talk about the types of projects that would be most impressive to a prospective employer, and our thoughts on whiteboard exercises. 

Recorded live on February 10th, 2022, hosted by Nick Roome, &  Barry Kirby.


| News:


  • New Military Tech Lets One Person Fly Swarm of 130 Drones
  • Image Source: US Army



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Welcome to human factors yeah your weekly podcast for human factors psychology and design. Hello everybody it is episode 200 34 we're recording this live on 2/10/2022 this is human factors cast I'm your host Nick Rome I am joined today by the wonderful Mister berry Kirby wonderful to be promoted great to be Hey how you doing you've been promoted yes I'm doing great and we have a great show for you all tonight we're gonna be talking about how you can fly 130 drones all by yourself and later and answer some questions from the community about the types of projects that would be most impressive to an employer our thoughts on white boarding and we're going to address the long term unemployment zone should put some echo effect on that but first day programming notes I just wanna welcome 2 new members to our lab I'm really excited to have resync ID may in our lab welcome and if you are interested in the human factors digital media lab we are always looking for talented people who are passionate about producing human factors content or you know just getting involved with the podcast if you want to see it from behind the scenes you can do it that way too anyway we know why you're here you're here for the news so why don't we go ahead and get into it. Yes this is the part a show all about human factors news this week we got a good one berry what is the story this week. So this week we talk about how viewability technology lets one person fly a swarm of 130 drones. An example of the growth of in autonomous and rebel capabilities the Pentagon has helped develop technology that allows a single person to control 130 drones for U. S. military operations. Hi the project is defense contracting company Raytheon which is working with the defense advanced research projects agency or DARPA the team has successfully tested their technology in an indoor and outdoor urban setting because the press release from the company. Do does the offensive swarm enabled tactics all set will trickle of good acronym this one was made of 130 physical drones as well as 30 simulated drones racing claim that the software and hardware using this will allow the printer to,nd a swarm with minimal training. You put components won't won't be so much such a desk with a joystick. It said to be using virtual reality interface that allows it to look through each drone individually this creates an interactive virtual view of the environment the release said. Nick do you want to have 130 drones you'll back in coal how do you feel about the article. Look I think there's a lot of really cool technology going on here what what the blurb that we wrote doesn't actually mention is that they're actually allowing for voice,nds as well which is you know really interesting. Wait a,nd around especially when combined with VR. You know if it if it weren't for its application just warfare it be a super neat thing to play with. You know I I think we have some complicated thought some more fair and and all that but it in terms of other applications that you know a lot of things come out of the military to start with and then. Come into industry as well and then. I am just waiting for the day when we can see an interactive light show in the sky using drones that one person is controlling with V. R. invoice that's that's kind of what I'm thinking what are your initial reactions to this article I love this so much. It's clearly a massive spring board full and and a huge number of applications and this exploitation everything from the sea exploration through too well my favorite as I go on but quite a lot that you don't colonize extra miles you know the the ability to remote control not only just one vehicle but multiple vehicles to do different things is exactly where we need to be ready to go so clearly the big breakthrough he's been able to control you know engage with that group I'm putting forward I guess an intent of doing things along with the individual elements of that swarm of that group of the cluster to interpret the intent. That's really very clever but also we need that is where we need to stop thinking about a web people have concerns about the application of autonomy and this is going to be this is the minister to Maine and he just threw up a whole lot of other issues which I think will get into a bit later but fundamentally how cool is that. It's pretty neat I mean like I I think to me the the A. I. on board that would try to interpret what you as an operator trying to do is one of the bigger challenges and speaking of challenges I think what we should do maybe is to break down at least you know from from human factors perspective what some of these challenges of remote aviation R. or sort of remote control drone piloting today those types of things we have a source here from the human factors guidelines for unmanned aircraft systems by Alan Hobbs bath while. Hopefully said those right anyway but with there's there's a lot of really good information in here and we kind of jumped on by category so maybe we go through one by one and talk about these I will start with sort of reduce sensory cues says as a pilot of an unmanned aircraft you know you're kind of looking at. A different view than you might if you were piloting a physical aircraft right if you think about piloting a physical aircraft you can look out and get a sense of your surroundings because you can look out the window you can see how far away from the ground you are from other objects you are from other drones or aircraft you are and you don't really have that with a piloting drones you have. You know if you don't have this additional. I guess sixth sense of of. Airborne proprioception if you wanna call it that I don't know but you don't have that additional sense to assist with now things like navigation or collision avoidance or whether awareness even. And and sort of the absence of these other sensations make it really difficult to monitor the state of what's going on in the environment so. You know that the solution is really on board cameras. They help with this the image of of the field of view but maybe don't paint the whole picture that you would get from all the other senses acting in harmony while you're in an aircraft right. Yeah your second here well they just want to that as well it's the because he's one of the issues we can have a simulation as well is the is the application of G. and knows what he's up that saw them all the senses that you so take for granted completely removed and and all come to complete a move to that situation Dubai is is just the whole tethering of the view Monday craft with with the with the controller so that control like you know how the how the instructions transmitted between the 2 so you Monday system pilots this is just a Monday systems it's it's any sort remote remote capability the most money for them to support the quality the controlling. I fully contraptions because the Lync licenses may make direct manual control difficult a major voice communications when they relate the by the video link it's quite a common problem now actually even in Monday craft the we almost take the the the computer generated. Instructions for granted the you know we without the without the ability to solve homicides checker well the standing that may be the end of the day to your getting isn't perfect and isn't quite right she always gonna be aware that just because the computer says what is the computer isn't necessarily always right and be aware of that situation. Do you talk to children about be a physical characteristics the control station yes you mentioned the the communication piece of it and and the control piece of it then there's actual the the control station itself right and there's a lot of. There's a lot to consider here so if you think about a traditional aircraft everything is very deliberately designed to be it within reach of the operator at the times in which it makes sense to be in reach and there's limited space in a cockpit and so you might reach for a control because you E. it's a rare situation and you need to activate that control and it's right there where you need it where you'd expect it to be based on your training now look at a drone,nd station where traditionally eat you might have a little bit more space than a cockpit yeah might be in. You know of a slightly bigger room sometimes not sometimes yeah and so if you think about that it's much easier to just go. All right we need this additional capability let's put the controls over here and and so it's kind of like Voltron attachments to these controls without really thinking through. Necessarily where those controls are placed in relation to everything else in that physical control system and so you know these displays may not be as easily accessible. And they they might not reflect how it is in the cockpit and so even if you have that training as a pilot you might not have the same training as a drone pilot and and it might be difficult to kind of enforce these. Sort of procedures if it's if it's in an office environment versus an air aircraft where your every action is life affirming you know I think that is kind of the difference. You talk about this next one here yes so one of the big things that with Amanda systems is generally the way it whether you take off the bit the best to budge the takeover is not the same person who controls the mission and so that you have to have that transfer of control to control the Monday craft may be transferred during ongoing operations between adjacent control stations between geographically separated entities I'm all set geographically separate control stations he transferred does involve the risk of mode errors inconsistencies. Between the control stations all just miscommunication and this happened on so that transfer happens at least twice on every mission when you so you they they take over the Knicks on such remote session current mission and then it goes back to the local control to landed again. In the story that we talked about we this will be happening just wants to be on the 30 times so actually how do we make that the certain elements that result when you transfer that control how do you understand that you've got control of all of your school not just the ones I think that's good that's quite interesting because we as humans can only remember so many things in our brains at any one time and so you put up hold almost at the status of the status display to you which I think could be quite interesting. Your export yeah you mentioned that that sort of unconventional aspect of being able to one person start the flight another person do the mission another person land it's a shared responsibility and with that there's a bunch of other unconventional characteristics of some of these unmanned aircraft where you might have. I don't know different flight patterns and different rates of climb that are not. You know typical of of regular aircraft might actually present more challenges for air traffic controllers and so you have to navigate that with them the pilot might actually be required to interact with other systems that aren't present on traditional aircraft as well so you might have things like electric potion fuel cells catapult launches some of these other things that. You know I did mention there's kind of the the start the middle part of the mission and then the finish you know talk about the finish. Yes so when you come in to to think if I alternate the flight you you in that situation where you seem that addresses will not be used to carry passengers. Definitely an emergency a U. S. U. S. pilot may choose to destroy the aircraft by teaching it all by other means rather the temple landing the cubs and a risk to people all property on the ground but that's going to evolve over time I think not only what it's not just about what that Carrington's of passengers but also amble organs that might be carrying what what was the stores they might be carrying that will make make that termination the technician the flight have different characteristics so that that's going to be quite a. Interesting evolution yeah it's a it's a different calculus because instead of where can I land where can I land it's do I save this aircraft or attempt to save this aircraft or do I you know. Do I in the flight and and try to where can I land that will minimize casualties work on land that will you know reduce the ability for. Adversaries to retrieve our data couple stories on this actually before we go on there is a recent YouTube influencer stunt I guess that. Some you tube employments are took their aircraft up in. And and they they I guess fate it is an emergency landing and so they ended up crashing their aircraft. All for you to be use and there's a lot of evidence that points to that actually happening yeah the other story is that the US navy actually just recently lost an aircraft in the South China Sea because it fell off one of their ships. And that's a pretty big deal so like if you think about everything that's on board. You know especially with the we'll get away from that but talking about drones here think that everything is on board all that data collection that they've done one the adversarial know what you've collected on them too they can sort of reverse engineer your technology and understand. Weaknesses in that technology and and introduces a whole bunch of other factors here. There's no real way to jump into I'm gonna jump into reliance on automation here. So with some of these traditional transport aircraft there's the ability to turn on or. Minimize turn off or minimize the. The autopilot system right and transition to star manual control the aircraft when you need to even if this is accomplished by fly by wire systems so. The nature of these unmanned systems with the pilot remote. From the unmanned aircraft it'll actually require additional reliance on other automated systems to let you know. When basic flight control. Is necessary when you need to jump in and and sort of manually takeover so. I guess it's a it's an added layer between that autopilot on and off. That is another piece of automation that can tell whether or not auto auto pilot should be on or off and and that I guess is the point is that there's these redundant layers of automation that are built. On top of each other that will hopefully help the operator fly these things but then you there's just so many things that you have to consider that are different from traditional aircraft. Yes I think there is a change in behavior here as well because the you know traditionally we automatically assume that you need to revert back to human control because that is the safest way of doing things but actually sent me with with a lot of military systems now it's almost the the computer has to take over to be the safest mode of operation rather than rather him because the computer can think faster and make decisions quicker and there's loads of interesting examples I'm trying to think if I can actually talk about one so I'm probably not going to but the the idea that the that the with the U. A. S. that you all that you want to be almost take away from him control so the so the race itself can get it get itself out of trouble and then hand control back said what he said yes I'm watching back to stable stable position you can carry on now which is just a complete change in culture to what we used to. I'm. Okay the last one as well in terms of how we use the interface of themselves and what they're based on so called control stations because increasingly resemble office workstations keyboard mouse or trackball also you know that some interface device I need faces opportune consumer call and computer software to control stations are house entirely on a laptop computer the control station the controls and display souls from diverse commercial social providers is likely to suffer from a lack of consistency in other integration issues so how we take home the that the workstation all of the future isn't going to look like a you know a replica flights in face of of what we used to what we think a drone information drawn control system will look like it's going to look like a,nd control system and a little local control you know tell you where to go what to do not necessarily how to do it yet or in this case it could look like VR and I'm curious as to what I guess you know what the actual interfaces for this technology that we're talking about in this story because it is V. ours are they using like a video game controller since you know a lot of a lot of younger. Sailors soldiers. Pilots are of a demographic who plays video games and so that's a very natural way to interact with. These weapons of war slick of 98. Its banks into the design now so the whole hill the hold yvolution all so here in the U. K. we have a we have a technical challenge to the the gun control and the,nd controller based on the PlayStation control handles and that was a proper design features so you knew that Pete the the younger demographic coming in would also make you feel whole feel at home using that sort of hungry apps and uneven now select using the VR after training and things like that it's built home the way the game engines the people used to Sir these kids are coming in automatically being part again generation they can automatically use the stuff because it might well why wouldn't I be using this type of thing so if you eat it that would you do about the impact that has on training and the reduction in cost in training just to be able to take advantage of that is so huge yes bro yeah so let's let's talk about let's carefully talk about our experience with this type of stuff because we both work on projects that we can't release some details on and we're gonna be skirting this carefully so we'll all start. I have worked in the military to Maine and yeah this checks out right there's a lot of research and development right now being spent on how to reduce the likelihood that casualties would occur and. That does sort of winding up with. There's all the complicated ethics of of warfare that we've talked about on the show before but really it comes down to how can we save lives and eliminate the people that are really you know taking more live basically the the. The calculus of how many lives will be saved by. You know taking out somebody else and it's a complicated. The topic that is very hard to talk about sometimes and even harder to navigate working on types of projects that could cost of that so in terms of like my experience with remote control. Drones need minimal mostly minimal but it is there and and yes this checks out very what's your experience if you want to carefully skirt. Yes I think I alone pick soon because this is this is this is by divine I saw that the best part 20 years working defense and in the R. D. element and like you say it definitely checks out he's definitely been high profile I mean I think I went to my first. A. I. remote A. L. eat so swimmingly type project will be cranky 15 years ago when I first started to look at so the the idea of distributed control distribute distributed autonomy and so it is definitely that the the real key things for me with this is. More of the biggest challenges I'll be able to keep that level of situation awareness for the operator and how do we how do you give the,nds in a way that is reducing the burden on on that person that they ought to what they know what is going on at any one time and then it any still considered safe so the influence of autonomy so it's not just artificial intelligence but we do we talk about autonomy the different levels of autonomy that we have here and under the fish tell tell jobs and that the missiles into technologies. Also key it it's a lost of coming together at one time and it's quite nice quite not quite nice but point point here. But the beat you but talk with ethics the is huge and it's it's weird that point now where we've always got along with principal said in the U. K. we'll study both west bridge is well is that we have this human in the loop scenario no matter what level of autonomy you get to the person or the the the elements that saves the a weapon can take a life. Is a human decision. The point that it's happening so somebody has to pull the trigger press a button give a,nd to say yes that's going to happen and when we get that with this is the whole point of that is it it's it's the whole you make a decision to meant to take a human life finally get back. Well it even gets a little more complicated than that too because the systems are designed in such a way to spread that responsibility across multiple individuals to wear yes it may not be as clear who actually took the life is it the person who pull the triggers of person that ordered it is that the person that. I found the intelligence that UN led to those decisions it's a lot of things going into this right it's it's not just a black and white decision no it but from a policy perspective that's that's where where it's at so but yes they they thought was a middle position what what was the evidence base that they made that decision on. But then there was almost at a flip side of the house and some work we've been we've been looking at recently is kind of flip that question on its head to settings and to explore it in terms of is it ethical if I've got a way of keeping my troops safe. Is it ethical to put a delay that chief I've got delayed to make a decision to to protect my team to protect our troops I go system that would automatically detect threats on that bill to limit the threat is it ethical for me to put a a poles in there for humans for you to say yes when actually they don't make the decision Intel in. They could then be eliminated so that was like number one and then the other part of. Some some things we've been but question we've been asking is in order for them to look at it to make a decision to make the to make to make that decision. They don't have to be close by to what's going on because you have to have the right intelligence the right time to do what's most of. Do we need to do that if if the person is at the other side of the globe. How how right is that decision to be made because if you don't have do you have to smell the same things like that we which is of Fraser vehicle time Sir the whole I think thing is. Is getting more complicated because of technology a lot of people thought that this would simplify it but it's really no it's it's making it way more intrinsic because it's but it's made it really puts you more value on human life is less you would've been involved about failed. So where is the you know do we get to a point where you said Siegel to computers fighting each other with the corporate controllers at the at the end is that true the wall what what where is the where where's the social value in war at that point because actually stirs to people having you know the cause of the rebels how does all this way to the end you know yeah so that is the technology gets better and in theory the the the burden on the shoulder the size of the the the the post in the airforce. I'm. My day job theory well it looks positive also yeah I don't know I know I know obviously I get 8 and cruised is kind of what I usually fall down too but actually that's not true either so but the you know to me that this whole bit as they took theoretically gets easier because of automation actually everyone else's job size it'll get harder because we need to think about these questions and more details are. Well it's it's it is sort of the that's verging off the human factors realm itself in terms of what we do the types of interfaces and things like that actually we are given up that point where you actually should be helping them answer the big questions yes I agree and I think ethics in human factors is a really important topic and I'm glad we were we brought this up and you know all the points that you just made are exactly why I got out of it and and now I'm in supply chain logistics just making sure you have toilet paper on your shelves so you know what it's a lot less offensive and what's actually break down this article though because we've been we've been skirting a lot of the human factors issues with drone technology I do wanna make sure we have some time to really break this down. Because again this is one person controlling a drone swarm of 138 drones physical drones plus 30 virtual drones too and I think that's that's one thing that you know we don't include here in the headline is that yes it is 30 physical drunk there's also 30 virtual drums as well. There's a couple key points here that Raytheon. Makes in their. In a press release here that are really interesting tidbits that I think we should dig into. So the first one I want to jump into is controlling a drone swarm changes the way it operates operator or group of operators think about the drones so some of these issues that we were talking about with the single drone piloting. The human factors issues those might actually go away and introduce new issues there. But they say the take aways from the exercise help us inform the inflection points between utility and manageability and so they're thinking about all these types of things as they're putting together these controls. Are there any key take aways from either the press release of the article that you want to discuss. Yeah I mean I guess when you look at some of this using the user in the swamp capability you don't even notice the one the specter of you can look behind buildings to access the the view of drone locations use the virtual reality environment to train and to test and see if your mission is viable so you could do a whole lot of stuff beforehand before you actually get into your in into the machine itself so usually because the environment that you're using is either is the same whether your flying it for real all you'll do your do your training. You can use the same environment because all you do is put a synthetic and to since since synthetic and the output that's where the 30. Mmhm a cemex Jones was so important for this is because of the that's that's proving that you can have the. The training capability that so you can actually practice and you might only have wanted to live drones but you can augment it with you know a whole swarm and still have a training capability for the parts to make sure that they can do what they do so have a look at the entire package it is quite a big deal. Yeah I agree the only the other thing that I wanna bring up here with the article and I felt like this was tacked on. The article itself he brought up the fact that they added in some speech,nds and there's a whole slew of human factors issues associated with voice,nds and I won't get into those right now it's just interesting that they're thinking about this as an additional. Way to provide input or,nds to the drone swarm itself. You know that that's interesting to me another piece that I thought was just. Well as somebody who studies and his interest in the R. 8 like I don't know I I it's it's super interesting when you think about the various viewpoints that you'll have from this I mean you you mentioned being able to look at the back of a building. I'm in a VR environment and I almost wonder. You know what kind of the R. environment or the building is it just from the perspective of the drones I would think not I think these drones are probably actively building a 3 D. representation of the environment that the drone operator then can navigate through similar to like how Google earth works in in VR where you can just kind of pensions Newman really get up close and like bend around and look at it you know building from all angles as if you were you know a massive entity based on all the data that's being collected by the swarm and if you need to get a live feed of something like looking at a specific window for drones just kinda hanging out you could switch to that view and actually see a live feed you know why the model would actually build that it be good the model building software or or give behind the scenes algorithms that bill that would be great for things like mission planning. But it wouldn't give you that live context of what's actually going on which is where you'd want to switch over to those individual drowns in I'm just a couple interesting points that I wanted to make any last words on this article or human factors issues with drones. Yeah I think the funny thing for me is actually the the talk a lot about swarming of drones and actually that's that's quite set specific phrasing the use because you can either you know swarming the flocks of drones the old folk they they all lend themselves to working in different ways I think this is it is gonna be interesting I think the issue is going to be as much about how to keep the the prices in the building for situation awareness in order to make the right decisions the right time and in a compelling way. But I think it's also it's the but it's it's the start of something bigger I think we are gonna be talking about but I think 130 drones is going to be nothing in the grand scheme of things and as the the ability to control more drones becomes more prevalent than the small drones going to gas because you can just throw more technology at too because you can have the reliance of the control arm it's interesting but it but the one that comes with advice the beginning I think is a is the big one is yes this is we talk about this in the mail to demand but the application of this is is much broader we can see some real benefits across this through a whole lot of domains cook them in the future yes surveying ecological locations or you know any anything you can think of that would require a lot of surveillance of an area or even being able to control these massive entities in the sky I think could also be. Another application I'm thinking like Super Bowl because that thing's coming up right the sports I don't know you follow sports now do you think about it big drone display in the sky that you know one person is controlling that has advertisements for Budweiser yeah so you're both on the Sunday yeah. You can note the trailer that's the only reason why I would. All right let's get out here that out of the article anyway we still got more shows so thank you to our patrons this week for selecting our topic and thanks to our friends over at futurism and Raytheon for our news story this week if you want to follow along we do post the links to the original article's on our weekly round ups on our blog it also join us on our discord for more discussion on the stories we're gonna take a quick break back to see what's going on in human factors community right after this human factors cast brings you the best in human factors news interviews conference coverage and overall fun conversations into each and every episode we produce but we can't do it without you. The human factors cast network is 100 percent listener supported all the funds are going to running the show come from our listeners our patrons are our priority and we want to ensure we're giving back to you for supporting us pledges start at just $1 per month and include rewards like access to our weekly Q. and a is with the hosts personalized professional reviews and human factors minute patrie on only weekly podcast where the host breakdown unique obscure and interesting human factors topics in just one minute patron rewards are always evolving so stop by Petri slash human factors cast to see what support level may be right for you thank you and remember it depends. Yes use thank you as always to our patrons especially want to thank our honorary human factors cast staff patrons Machel trip like you keep the show running thank you for your continued support a couple notes that I wanna make before we get on with the show here one did you know that we do a pre and post show shows a lot of times us answering community questions that don't quite make it on the show and the post show is often a lot of times I was addressing additional things from the main story that we didn't actually get to if you want to watch those those are available on all of our video platforms are patrons actually do get a full audio version of the pre and post shows that's another thing that you can do with a tree on one dimension that but we also I also mention this one because this is something that I don't think we we talk about enough we have a discord. And it it's a great way to get involved with talking with other human factors professionals from all over the world we have people from Australia. People from I don't know where else are people from Barry. No no I'm right over here in the U. K. just enjoy myself over this cold you know exactly we we actually have access to a lot of resources that we have got our hands on over the last couple years you know the last couple weeks we've had discussions about cloud gaming in F. T. E.'s even more context around some of the questions that we actually talk about on the show you can even chat with others and voice channels although I haven't really seen that you know maybe maybe I'll make it a point to like jump in every now and then. And it's also where we do our lab chat and our lab work for the digital media lab there's another plug for it that's hidden to the public but at least you know it's an effective tool for getting stuff done and that a lot of people in the lab or on there you can always ask us questions anyway with that let's go ahead and get into this next part of the show that we like to call. Yes it came from. Part of the show research all over the internet to bring you topics that the community is talking about no matter where you're watching if you find any of these answers helpful or useful please give us a like to just help other people find this content that's actually helped more than you might think all right so let's get into we have 3 tonight and it looks like maybe we put them in the wrong spot but that's okay we'll let me tackle here and the first one here is bye so I I kind I probably said that incorrectly on the user experience about it they say I have an opportunity to do 2 projects in the final semester of my senior year what types of projects will be the most impressive to an employer or what types of projects are under rated and fun. You want to write like the title said I have the opportunity to do an independent study with my excellent you extra faster in the past we've redesigned websites use content management systems created events with touch points it's also done research case study writings. Please let me know what type of projects have you have taught you the most about yourself and what I should consider looking into doubling down on current dishes or become a little bit more diverse and what I know thank you so much Barrie what types of projects. But let's let's kind of flip the script what what kind of projects as a potential prospective employer are you looking at in in new applicants. Coming coming invoke the it depends button I guess to say young women but it it did first time tonight I am it really doesn't mean. For me yeah all check that out okay I need to put in because it's like. Yeah could be lost to you if you listen to this on audio books but they just put up a big it depends on the on up on the screen I am so for me is employee I'm looking for something that showcases your ability and reading what interests you because if if we do something that interests you but it means you motivated to do it that for it means you're putting your effort you put a bit of you into into what developing. Specifically I think what is a real thing at the moment and what would really take a lot of books for me is data is everywhere. Information and knowledge a safety locking so everything's that we deal with I O. T. and and them sort of project so if you can show a amok with lots of data points on it all you've gotta you know you got some trials or things like that that you're doing some really good you why and also. Where is I tend to fall asleep to some extent it's about making meaningful information knowledge out of the day to see if you if you want to focus on something about taking you know I've seen some really cool things around you know cities of of if if Twitter for example where you got. Number of tweets posted a certain area rounds around certain topics a new I've seen some really good ways that's been displayed somebody bad ways despite its displayed well it give you some information about what's going on about certain topics where is ready by the display that he just tells you that those bothers a lot people to go about which most things to do or should we do the things so fundamentally how do you how do you turn data into knowledge I'm also digging into information in a meaningful way and see if you can do that as a you can show that in in a footnote in a fun way to the way the. What would you do it then if it's something that would almost guarantee that I'll give you a job. So they are going to do that and then then you come with me. Good good good feedback I'm I'm I'm gonna answer this. In a frustrating way. This is one of the ones on the pre show that I was like oh I I really have a specific answer for this and I wanna answer it so the question is what would be a project that would be most impressive doing employer as somebody who's been involved in in the direct hiring process one thing that always sticks out to me is when a candidate can be honest about countering challenges and how they react to those challenges during the course of a project and so I am almost advocating for putting yourself into a situation where you know you're going to fail the first time around because being able to. I'm. React to these challenges and pivot in a way that's different from your original approach is incredibly crucial to a lot of industries work because you won't always get it your way you won't always have the tools that you want you won't always have the resources that you need you won't always have the access to users that you might want either and so you have to make some of these decisions based on other information. And so for me if I was looking at a project that you were doing say okay what what challenged you about the project what kind of wrench was thrown into this thing I'm not looking for a. Picture perfect piece from start to finish. You can talk about your process all you like but I want to hear about the challenges that you encountered and how you reacted to those and I feel like that is an unspoken skill that a lot of people maybe you don't know how to answer in job interviews and sets there you go that's that's something. Let's get into this next 1 here bear you chose this 1 white boarding challenge prep help this is by I see egg 924 for the user experience I brought it only done 1 way for challenging was kinda awkward. But a lot of our articles on white boarding challenges but I'm still nervous about it given my last experience I don't fully understand how you make decisions without the ability to validate either quantitatively or qualitatively can someone walk me through what a successful white board challenge looks like I'm open to any and all advice. I'm so. Very let's just explain what a white board challenge is and then how do you tackle it. Well fundamentally I use the the white board white board challenge as as a discovery method of working out sit down with your customer and client old users and allowing you to allowing the entire group 23 elite use that space to 30 to pick what it is that we're trying to do in the first place and then get to a level of understanding what the what the output should look like but the whole piece is people get scared by it I think because in many ways yes there is the structure behind it there is not so that's a balkanization but it's actually quite to a free experience because you don't you don't necessarily know what you're gonna get you know it's not like all the work shopping structures where you can eat squire you can quite rigid control how you run a workshop where is this you can start off with the best of intentions and and and to be in somewhere completely different you have to have a lot of faith in you yourself stated that the the group that you're with and and the ability to get down there so. Yeah I think that's well that's why I use this to use this as a as a as a tool what's your what's your vegetable of white boarding challenges that I do think in the U. S. will then the answer will do would you use the the technology differently yeah white board is such a nebulous term you can use a white board for many things and so that's kind of why I asked you to define it because I know a lot of different ways the intent of the white board is to sort of get something non permanent in front of people's faces so they feel comfortable adjusting and adapting as the conversation and discourse naturally occur and so when you have something on the board. That you want to sort of modify it's easy to just erase it and and do something else to it. I think. If we're talking about just white I think there's some better methods than doing that use the white board in conjunction with post it notes and now we're at now we're now we're talking but if we're just talking about a white board I think the important things is to write down important information and keep that kind of off to one side and then maybe explore I don't know work flows on a different part and that part is very malleable you can adjust that as you need the other part might be how an interface based on those work flows and so there's a there's a variety of ways to use a white board. As it relates to user interface I think a lot of people probably just draw up interfaces. And and talk it through the design team and I think that's fine. But having the context of the other stuff is important too and so again the the point is to have something that's not permanent not a pen and paper. Not a permanent record of it but rather an exercise to get everybody engaged and involved. It's an interesting bit about that is we actually run one of these yesterday and one of my new team members it was his first white bold session is first discovery session with me I'm numb and he was the fact that you told me after the break I so knew before going and he was really nervous because we it was literally 3 was in the room we have the the the user me and him so I was basically facilitating that and and working through the session I know that you can you can listen you can if you feel like you want to shout took shelter you know it's not a close session tall unit is not. You're in the room and you're on the team you probably experience and for the first so we were actually running the session for about 2.5 I was in the end I spent about an hour an hour an hour point 5 and he just looked it was it was a really good events and Billy was to left was on his side putting comments about halfway through any good styling starting to be a bit more confident and it's about doing that it's about being able to have the facilitated space we spoke about this before whoever is leading it facilitating the space the anybody can say what what is it they would say there's no stupid questions except if I'm asking them because I did that that tends to be a thing that I do a lot as as a method and you know just allow people to do stuff and it's it's I find I find the majority to lead because if you get them right you know you've got the right to she got the role that's been disappointing but you know but you know you can finish the multi so I think that room I really like them that room and if you've only got one white ball that's disappointment you need to with. Hey remind me of the post show to talk about fluid ounces when you said no stupid question. And yeah that's the that's gonna be yet actually because this is Nick from the future here. Our show actually crashed what we are doing a live recording although we didn't notice this until about 25 minutes later so there's 10 minutes to show that you missed and about 15 minutes of post show until you know everything got wrapped up so anyway I we did answer a question about. Sort of what to do to address your weaknesses we'll go ahead and address that on next week's show we also talk about R. one more things Barry was really into the winter Olympics and I talked about my mods for the oculus quest to and I'm just kind of recapping everything for you since you missed it and it really sucks that there were some good stuff in there. With that oculus quest to stuff I was really jazzed about the physical hardware we did actually release a poll on our Instagram to see if you all wanted to see us do reviews if that is something you want to see what else no I am gonna wrap it up right now. But we will be back next week hopefully all the technical issues ironed out that's it for today everyone if you liked this episode and enjoy some of the discussion about remote operation of drones we do invite you to go listen to episode 203 flying a helicopter on March. Comment wherever you're listening with what you think of a story this week for a more in depth discussion you can always join us on our discord community like I mentioned there's plenty of fun stuff to do over there you can visit our official website sign up today for for our newsletter stay update with all the latest human factors news you like what you hear the want to support the show there's a couple things you can do one wherever you're at you can stop right now you can leave us a 5 star review despite the technical issues in this episode you can tell your friends about it that actually really helps the show grow word of mouth really helps other people find the show the trust your opinion 3 you want to support us financially so we can get a better I don't know system of record stuff with them this won't happen again in the future although we've been doing this for about 30 episodes and it hasn't anyway really really upset about it but you can always support us financially on Patreon this bunch of other benefits to that too. As always links to our socials and website or the description of this episode. Herby would have said thank you for listening but he as long as sleep and are you all can find him on Twitter at Baz _ K. he's also the host of 120 to the human factors podcast sister podcast of this 1 and you can find that at 1202 as for me I've been your host Nick Rome you can find me across social media at Nick _ Rome complaining about technology and thank you again for tuning into human factors cast have a wonderful evening take care of yourself until next time it depends.

Barry KirbyProfile Photo

Barry Kirby

Managing Director

A human factors practitioner, based in Wales, UK. MD of K Sharp, Fellow of the CIEHF and a bit of a gadget geek.