The boredom of drone pilots

Drone pilots are like other people who surprise largely automated processes, undergains and become insectful

Drones have become a popular military agent to spare and pursue suspicious activities or people. With armed drones can be hunted out of afar, but without delay opponents and dead. Remote drones seem to cost costs at first glance, but at least in the militar, their mission is far strongly intensive than that of normal aircraft. One reason for this is that the rough unmanned aircraft, for example, the global HAWK or the predator drones are used on many hours. For a combat drone, according to information from the Pentagon 150 people and more is needed (fighting drones do not replace people, but need more staff). The word unmanned suggests that people are replaced, but only no one flies with, while the staff multiplied by the ground.

The boredom of drone pilots

Image: Pentagon

A consequence of long flight times where permanently the environment must be observed and information of the sensors is evaluated is stress due to the required high attention of the pilots. It also seems to be stressful that the pilots are only virtually in the combat area, while they are normal to normal service times from home "job" go, bombing goals or people, and then return to the family in their free time to return to their everyday life in their everyday life. Targeted dead of mostly defenseless people from afar is something quite different than if you attack people on site, which can be directly dangerous or threatened. In addition, these often work thousands of kilometers remote on screens in any darkened spaces and therefore only make screen work, but which is much less entertaining as a video or play a computer game tension and attention tailored.

As a rule, the pilots are sitting over hours, sometimes like the pilots of the US Air Force up to 12 hours, in front of their screens, on the basis of the often not very sharp pictures occasionally with joysticks the drone, but usually flies automatically, rarely you can rarely you can really act, so pursue a goal and fire a rocket. Mary Cummings, who teaches at aeronautics and astronautics, sees one of the main problems when serving the drones in boredom. That’s why this is particularly rough, because man is largely monitored and rarely intervene only automated precursors. The not very stimulating work environment affects the performance, which can make it difficult to act succinctly and quickly in rare moments. In a survey under Predator pilots, over 90 percent of Mabiger to Total Boredom reported.

The scientists have investigated in a study on the basis of drone simulations in a study, as people in such stimulus and boring work worlds, in which, as in pilots of aircraft or towards, in the control of industrial processes or power plants or at anastehesist, the monitoring of coarse parts automated Processes ("Babysitting the Automation"), better awake could be kept. As the automation progresses, but people have monitored the processes to intervene if necessary, the problem will be inactive for long times, to fall into boredom and to be insufficiently increasing.

Was observed, as 30 subjects that were paid, behaved during the control of three simulated drones and an unmanned landscape over four hours if they need to engage all 10, 20 or 30 minutes slightly in order to correct deviations in the automatic controlled flight, and at the same time looking for goals. Every subject had two screens that had to do directly with the task, also there was a third they could use to make something else, for example, to read or surf emails. You could read books, eat something or talk to others. One of the drones was erupted with weapons. Enemy destinations should be identified according to a color scale and then shot what brought points to the subject points as in a game. During the experiment, the test persons were filmed to see if they were attentive and when they were distracted and no longer looked at one of the two screens.

Little surprising that at this time the attention and the reaction times were continuously worse. The half of the time spent the test persons in a state of inattention. They talked to other, Aben something, surfing or made something with their mobile phone. Even four of the fun best subjects were more than a third of the time inattentive. The best temporary personnel remained the longest condition of shared attention, the second best did not do this almost, but followed another strategy and always switched from inattention to attention. Distraction, so the conclusion is good, if you do not quite an insincient, but thus wake up and stimulated. In order to increase performance, it was therefore necessary to ensure that again and again distractions – music, talking etc. – be offered or take place.

On average, the subjects only spent a five-art funftel in a shared attention, which is interpreted as a sign that for many multitasking is not easy to accomplish and the inclination is confessed, either in terms of a task to be aware of carefully or inattentive. Interesting may be that the test persons who play a computer game at least once a week showed the worst performance in the stimulus, little interactive test conditions. In this respect, computer players may not be the best soldiers, how often has been meant. The best in the simulation, the conscientious people cut off, but the scientists automatically focus on whether they were reaffirmed and unrestrained in real use, when it comes to the dead of people. In the background is the question of whether the contemporary computer workstations are not generally demanding boredom, which is compensated by increased media consumption in front of the screens? This could drive people into a spiral of under demand and expectation that increases the SOG into the virtuality only.

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