Unfortunately, the operational and SA issues discussed here are common to remote control of ground-based robotic vehicles (not just those involving search and rescue missions). SA is critical to effective utilization of robots in all domains. The fact that operators have difficulty in acquiring SA on robots and using robots to build SA on the task environment speaks to the need for empirical research on how to enhance performance by facilitating SA development. Interface designs, such as heads-up type displays and augmented reality, should be investigated for utility in supporting SA of ground vehicle orientation and configuration. Methods for improving team performance and development of Shared and Team SA should be studied because of current and future teamwork requirements in USAR and other domains. Effective ways to integrate object recognition tools (both automated and decision support) and tools that support users in depth and distance judgments should be explored. Additionally for future operational situations, automated behaviors need to be further investigated. Questions regarding what should be automated for effective multi-tasking are important. In addition, there is still a need for research and analysis regarding the SA requirements for robot tasking and controlling. These goals depend on a clear understanding of operator SA needs, in order to develop effective strategies and designs for providing the high levels of SA needed for successful robot operations in complex environments. © 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.