Operator workload explored with CyClaDes simulator runs at WMU

From 12-16 January, simulator runs for the CyClaDes research project were carried out at the World Maritime University (WMU) MaRiSa simulator laboratory. The CyClaDes project focused on ‘crew centered design and operation of ships and ship systems’ and the simulator runs included project partners Ergoproject Srl of Italy and Future-Shape GmbH from Germany. The focus was to explore operator workload and its correlation to stress, eye activity, and physical movement. Preliminary results have revealed a correlation.

WMU students with seafaring experience participated in the simulation trials and acted as officers of the watch in a scenario requiring transit through the Sound between Denmark and Sweden with heavy traffic due to ferry crossings between Helsingør and Helsingborg. The scenario was further enriched by fishing vessels, dredging operations, and other situations that required careful decision-making and proactive action to ensure safe passage through the area en route to Malmö.

Eye-tracking glasses were used in the study to gather information about the visual exploration strategies used during simulated shipping, and the data collected will be correlated with the task load imposed on the operator in the different phases. In addition to eye movements, movements of the operator within the bridge space were recorded via SensFloor sensors.

The expected results of the study were that both ocular behavior and motion will be correlated with the workload experienced by the operator providing crucial information that can be used in non-invasive testing of interfaces, procedures, training, and operational situations.

The CyClaDes research project is designed to understand the increased impact of the human element in shipping across the design and operational lifecycle. The project brings together a multi-disciplinary team to focus on key steps in the lifecycle, the stakeholders, where the barriers to human element integration occur, and how to best locate, produce, disseminate, and apply human element knowledge within the overall context of shipping.

The project will support the integration of the human element in the design and operational life cycle from appreciation, to concept, design, application, evaluation and approval, and maintenance.

The outcome will directly address pressing needs identified in the shipping industry

Copyright Ships & Ports Ltd. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit given to www.shipsandports.com.ng as the source.