This study presents the heuristic evaluation, as a usability inspection method for Human-Robot Interaction (HRI) systems. First, the methodology to engineer a semi-autonomous agricultural robot sprayer is presented, and then findings from heuristic usability evaluation studies that were carried out on a human-robot interface for a semi-autonomous agricultural vineyard robot sprayer. The following research-based heuristics for the design of robot teleoperation were used: Platform architecture and scalability, Error prevention and recovery, Visual design, Information presentation, Robot state awareness, Interaction effectiveness and efficiency, Robot environment/surroundings awareness, and Cognitive factors. In each evaluation study, usability problems were identified, and specific suggestions were documented for HRI usability improvement. In each design iteration, a smaller number of usability issues were identified.. Results of the final heuristic evaluation showed that the system is at a good level of usability and is expected to provide satisfactory services to its typical users.
Agricultural robot, human-robot interaction, heuristic evaluation, usability study.