Sanford Freedman


Cognitively Compatible and Collaboratively Balanced Human-Robot Teaming in Urban Military Domains

Adviser: Prof. Julie A. Adams

Creating a system of interfaces for the manipulation and control of robots within large CBRNE and disaster rescue environments. Individual interfaces are being developed that conform to the specific needs and requirements of first responders at various levels within the management hierarchy. A prototype design for the remote operator, the individual who directly assigns tasks and monitors the robots, has been created. A usability study is being developed to evaluate the interface’s effectiveness. This project is part of a larger effort to develop the underlying principles, methodologies, and technologies necessary to develop autonomous robot teammates that collaborate naturally and effectively with humans as peers, and behave compatibly with human cognitive, attentive, and communicative abilities and limitations.


Remote operator interface

MDS Robot

Selected Publications

Wu, Roger, Humphrey, Curtis M., Freedman, Sanford T., and Adams, Julie A. Multi-robot disaster recon: Building software foundations with real and simulated robots to work with a common interface. Technical Report HMT-07-01, Human-Machine Teaming Laboratory Technical Report, 2007. BibTeX

  author = {Roger Wu and Curtis M. Humphrey and Sanford T. Freedman and Julie
	A. Adams},
  title = {Multi-Robot Disaster Recon: Building Software Foundations with Real
	and Simulated Robots to Work with a Common Interface},
  institution = {Human-Machine Teaming Laboratory Technical Report},
  year = {2007},
  number = {HMT-07-01},
  url = {}


Gray, Jesse, Berlin, Matt, Breazeal, Cynthia, Aguilera, Paula, Williams, Kenton, Adams, Julie A., Robbel, Philipp, Freedman, Sanford T., How, Jonathan P., Undurti, Aditya, Tellex, Stefanie, Roy, Nicholas, Kollar, Thomas, Adalgeirsson, Sigurdur Orn, Alonso, Jason B., Faridi, Fardad, Lee, Jun Ki, Siegel, Mikey, Wang, Sophie, and Williams, Jonathan. Robots to the rescue: Mixed initiative human-robot teaming for disaster response. The 2009 International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence, July 2009. (Nominated: Best Video and Best Sound Track). BibTeX

  author = {Jesse Gray and Matt Berlin and Cynthia Breazeal and Paula Aguilera
	and Kenton Williams and Julie A. Adams and Philipp Robbel and Sanford
	T. Freedman and Jonathan P. How and Aditya Undurti and Stefanie Tellex
	and Nicholas Roy and Thomas Kollar and Sigurdur Orn Adalgeirsson
	and Jason B. Alonso and Fardad Faridi and Jun Ki Lee and Mikey Siegel
	and Sophie Wang and Jonathan Williams},
  title = {Robots to the Rescue: Mixed-initiative human-robot teaming for disaster
  howpublished = {The 2009 International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence},
  month = {July},
  year = {2009},
  note = {(Nominated: Best Video and Best Sound Track)},
  url = {}



  • Sanford T. Freedman
  • Tao Zhang
  • Sean T. Hayes
  • Eli Hooten
  • Jonathan I. Barrett
  • Caroline Harriott
  • Brian Okorn
  • Raffi Bedikian


  • Curtis M Humphrey
  • Will Holcomb
  • Andrew Pitman
  • Roger Wu
  • Ari M. Wilson
  • Mark Gonyea
  • Kimberly Gold


The development of the system of interfaces has been supported by: National Science Foundation Grants BCS-0826701, IIS-0519421 and IIS-0643100, Office of Naval Research Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative Program (MURI) award N000140710749, a Air Force Office of Scientific Research Award FA9550-09-1-0108, a contract from the United States Marine Corps Systems Command to M2 Technologies, Inc., Vanderbilt University Undergraduate Summer Research Program and the Vanderbilt University School of Engineering Summer Research Program.


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