HATS devises specific and generic human automation teaming solutions/ technologies along two major lines:

  1. We seek to develop an advanced ground control station for drones that incorporates the latest human-automation teaming technology. Today’s ground stations are primarily designed to allow a pilot on the ground to fly a single drone much as a pilot in an aircraft would control that aircraft. The near future holds the promise of many more unmanned aircraft–think of the fleets of delivery vehicles envisioned by Google and Amazon–far too many to have a pilot for each one. In this environment the human will be more of a supervisor than a pilot. This is a powerful metaphor for the human/machine relationship: people oversee and collaborate with the automation on higher-level decisions about where the drones go and how to manage risk in these operations. In such a collaboration, frictionless teaming between human and machine will be critical. HATS develops the technologies that underlie this teaming.
  2. HATS also provides R&D services, primarily to U.S. government agencies. For example, NASA has funded HATS to develop two technologies, 1) a simulation platform for investigating the control of multiple drones, and 2) automation, interfaces and concepts to allow a single pilot to do the job previously requiring two pilots on large transport aircraft.

This accelerating technological landscape provides huge opportunities for HATS. In particular, there are significant research efforts within the Department of Defense (an annual $150 M effort!), NASA, and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), all of which are grappling with how to team humans with increasingly autonomous systems such as robots, vehicles, and intelligent agents. The experience of our team in this R&D environment is deep and long, representing many decades of research and development in academia, government, and business. HATS is busy working on how to apply technologies, such as automated voice input and output, operator state sensing, machine learning, and dynamic human-automation functional allocation schemes, to the challenge of teaming with these increasingly autonomous systems. In addition to governmental research, private commercial enterprises, are moving aggressively to implement greater degrees of autonomy within their businesses. For example, Google, Amazon, and Walmart want to create fleets of increasingly autonomous small drones, but drones that will still need supervision by human operators. At the same time Google, Apple, and all of the major car manufacturers are attempting to develop cars with varying degrees of autonomous operation that will require a very immediate and intimate relationship with humans both within and around these cars. This is another powerful concept. To enable this autonomy, greater and greater degrees of automated intelligence is also being devised by organizations such as IBM (Watson) and Google (TensorFlow).


Our Expertise in Aviation Systems

  • Safety-critical,
  • Multiple stakeholders (e.g., government regulators, service providers, unions, industry, customers),
  • Distributed and non-co-located teams,
  • High workload and high-profile job functions,
  • Common situation awareness in the presence of asymmetric, real time information,
  • Outdated legacy systems and organizational and cultural barriers,
  • Advanced automation and effective human systems integration.

Services We Offer: Software Engineering

  • Integration: Application-to-Application and Business-to-Business
  • End-to-End solutions at enterprise and business levels
  • Business Intelligence: Spreadsheets, Reporting and querying software, Data mining, Data warehousing, Decision engineering, Business performance management
  • Consulting, Blueprint, Implementation, Operation & Maintenance Support
  • Streamlining integrated processes to reduce cost

Services We Offer: Product Development

  • Multi-Disciplinary Engineering: BioMedical, Computer science, Mechanical, Electrical, Manufacturing
  • Product Design and Development
    • Identification of customer needs and product specifications
    • Concept generation, evaluation, and testing
    • Product architecture and industrial design
  • Design for manufacturing
    • Computer-Aided/Computer-Manufacturing Design
    • Rapid prototyping and evaluation
  • Build and fabrications
    • Hardware
    • Software


  • Unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) R&D and human systems integration
  • design and implementation of UAS software
  • systems engineering, human-automation interaction, artificial intelligence/machine learning, trusted systems, air traffic control engineering, human factors, and software engineering
  • interdisciplinary and spiral software development
  • requirements definition, design of the architecture, implementation of software components, development and implementation of test plans, and documentation
  • requirements for human-automation multimodal interfaces, designing the interfaces, defining requirements for dynamic task allocation schemes, and conducting usability tests and analyses
  • machine learning algorithms for UAS control (e.g., dynamic path planning) and for dynamic task allocation functions that take into account physiological data and models
  • implementation of software and interfaces and for preparing and conducting ITE activities