The Effects of Task Complexity and Spatial Ability on Teleoperation Performance

  • Dan Pan
  • Yijing ZhangEmail author
  • Zhizhong Li
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 10275)


This study aims to explore how task complexity and spatial ability on teleoperation performance, especially the interaction effects of task complexity and spatial ability. Three kinds of robotic arm teleoperation task were designed, namely point aiming, line alignment, and cross alignment. They were respectively treated as teleoperation task with low, middle and high complexity. Teleoperation performance were measured from task completion time, rate of extra distance moved, operation slip and collision. Forty subjects were recruited. They were divided into two groups (with high spatial ability and with low spatial ability) based on their scores of the Vandenberg test and the Guay test.

Repeated measures’ analyses of variance was carried out to examine the main effects and interaction effects of task complexity and spatial ability on teleoperation performance. The results shown that spatial ability significantly or marginally significantly influenced task completion time (p = 0.037), collision (p = 0.003), and operation slip (p = 0.07). The subjects with high spatial ability performed better than those with low spatial ability. Task complexity significantly affected completion time (p < 0.001), rate of extra distance moved (p < 0.001), operation slip (p = 0.028), and collision (p < 0.001). It was also found that the interaction effect of spatial ability and task complexity on collision was marginally significant (p = 0.069). Those results implied that spatial ability plays a key role in teleoperation, especially for high complexity tasks. Spatial ability should be considered as an important criterion for tele-operator selection.


Task complexity Spatial ability Teleoperation performance 



This study was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Project no. 71371174, 71671167).


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Industrial EngineeringTsinghua UniversityBeijingPeople’s Republic of China

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