The objective of the EDGE program is to develop the tools necessary to create, measure, and test Human Machine Interfaces (HMI) that provide enough situational awareness (SA) of a system’s processes and status and of the operational environment so the operator can adapt the system in unexpected situations. EDGE seeks design capabilities that will be fast, quantifiable, repeatable, and manageable enough for HMI concept design, development, and testing to be integrated into the larger system’s design processes. Proposed research should investigate innovative approaches that enable revolutionary advances in science, devices, or capabilities that enable HMI development. Specifically excluded is research that primarily results in evolutionary improvements to the existing state of practice.
HMI design has not matured at the same pace as automated and autonomous machines and, as a result, most current interfaces do a poor job supporting the operator’s SA of the machine’s processes, status, and/or operational context. An operator with reduced SA may not adapt to unexpected circumstances, risking catastrophic failure.
Human management of autonomous and AI-enabled systems is, thus, not only a constraint of a moral and ethical mandate of autonomous weapons systems (DoDD 3000.09), but remains the technically and operationally most advantageous path. Designs that harden the system against user error fail to take advantage of the fact that humans are the most adaptive asset any system has at its disposal, currently and for the foreseeable future.
While there has been a considerable amount of progress in developing good principles and guidelines for human-centered design, the process remains slow, separate from, and lagging behind greater system’s design and development processes. As systems become more automated and autonomous and the role of the operator shifts from operating a platform (e.g., flying, driving, navigating), to managing a mission operator demands shift away from physical tasks and lean more heavily on complex decision making and managing risk across a number of interrelated factors and variables, many of which are abstract. Traditional design tools have not accommodated this shift and struggle to keep pace with automated and autonomous system development.
EDGE will create HMI design tools capable of integrating with a larger system design and development process. By prioritizing and orienting these tools towards quantifying, supporting, and testing SA, rather than reducing cognitive load at the expense of SA, EDGE will help designers build HMI systems that allow operators to not just monitor autonomous systems but also adapt their use to meet the needs of unanticipated situations.
EDGE’s vision is to develop a new class of HMI design tools that integrate into larger systems design and development processes by:
There is no registration fee for the Proposers Day webcast. The registration deadline is 5:00 PM, EDT, Thursday, May 27, 2021 or when capacity is reached, whichever comes first. Advance registration is required in order to receive access to the webcast and is mandatory for every individual intending to view the webcast either alone or as part of a group. Registrants in excess of the maximum capacity limitation (350 individuals) may be added to a waitlist. Individuals who are unable to register because the deadline has passed may request to be added to the waitlist. If slots become available due to cancellations, the slots may be filled on a first come, first served basis from the waitlist. If you are interested in being put on the waitlist, please reach out to Jen Schimmenti at firstname.lastname@example.org.
All meeting participants are required to complete the online registration form. Failure to register will result in not receiving access to the live webinar.
DARPA hosts Proposers Days to (1) promote teaming arrangements between researchers, (2) provide potential proposers with information on whether and how they might respond to the government’s research and development solicitations, and (3) increase efficiency in proposal preparation and evaluation. Therefore, Proposers Days are only open to registered potential proposers, i.e., the events are closed to the general public and media. For this particular program, Proposers Day registration is open to potential proposers who are U.S. citizens, U.S. permanent residents, and foreign nationals.
All registrants for the webinar meeting, who are not U.S. Citizens, must complete and submit a DARPA Form 60 (U.S. Permanent Resident and Foreign National Visit Request) - e.g. industry or academia) or an Official Visit Request (foreign government personnel, only) through the Embassy based in Washington, DC, no later than 5:00 PM, EDT on Tuesday, May 25, 2021
Administrative, technical, and contractual questions about the EDGE should be emailed to EDGE@darpa.mil. All questions must be in English and must include the name and email address of a point of contact. Following the Proposers Day, DARPA will post an FAQ list to the DARPA/DSO Opportunities website.
DARPA highly encourages teaming before proposal submission and will facilitate the formation of teams with the necessary expertise. Potential proposers may choose to participate in either, none or both of the following options:
The meeting will be in two segments, open sessions over ZoomGov and closed sidebars with Program Manager, Dr. Bart Russell and the government team on their teleconferencing bridge.
This meeting will be held on the ZoomGov webinar platform.
Downloading the Zoom application is suggested but understood that there may be affiliation restrictions. Therefore the alternative would be to join by web browser. All registrants will receive more detailed information in the webinar logistics email that will be sent out on May 28th.