CEC Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award

2018

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Information Systems (DISS)

Department

College of Engineering and Computing

Advisor

Yair Levy

Committee Member

James L. Parrish

Committee Member

Marlon Clarke

Abstract

Natural and manmade disasters have brought urban search and rescue (USAR) robots to the technology forefront as a means of providing additional support for search and rescue workers. The loss of life among victims and rescue workers necessitates the need for a wider acceptance of this assistive technology. Disasters, such as hurricane Harvey in 2017, hurricane Sandy in 2012, the 2012 United States tornadoes that devastated 17 states, the 2011 Australian floods, the 2011 Japan and 2010 Haiti earthquakes, the 2010 West Virginia coal mine explosions, the 2009 Typhoon caused mudslides in Taiwan, the 2001 Collapse of the World Trade Center, the 2005 Hurricane Katrina, the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, and the 1995 Kobe Japan earthquake all benefited from the use of USAR. While there has been a push for use of USAR for disaster, user resistance to such technology is still significantly understudied.

This study applied a mixed quantitative and qualitative approach to identify important system characteristics and critical value factors (CVFs) that contribute to team members’ resistance to use such technology. The populations for this study included 2,500 USAR team members from the Houston Professional Fire Fighters Association (HPFFA), and the expected sample size of approximately 250 respondents.

The main goal of this quantitative study was to examine system characteristics and CVFs that contribute to USAR team members’ resistance to use such technology. System characteristics and CVFs are associated with USAR. Furthermore, the study utilized multivariate linear regression (MLR) and multivariate analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) to determine if, and to what extent, CVFs and computer self-efficacy (CSE) interact to influence USAR team members’ resistance to use such technology.

This quantitative study will test for significant differences on CVF’s, CSE, and resistance to use such technology based on age, gender, prior experience with USAR events, years of USAR experience, and organizational role. The contribution of this study was to reduce USAR team members’ resistance to use such technology in an effort minimize risk to USAR team members while maintaining their lifesaving capability.

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