We have been working on Human-Robot Collaboration (HRC) at Kovan Research Laboratory at Middle East Technical University within a government funded project where the goal is to develop an assistant robot to work on the factory floor in collaboration with workers to improve the efficiency of assembly tasks. The duties of the robot are to follow the workflow, keep the workbench clean, and supply the worker with the necessary tools and assembly components when needed.
In addition to the research we are conducting on the industrial aspects of the work which focuses mainly on the workflow efficiency and safety, we have extended our work into the Human-Robot Interaction (HRI) domain in collaboration with Assoc. Prof. Bilge Mutlu from University of Wisconsin-Madison. Using the UR5 by Universal Robots as the fundamental robotic platform, we are investigating the effects of the robot animation and appeal on the worker’s perception of the robot while also developing new ideas of human-robot interface utilizing gesture-like behavior.
This work is still ongoing with user studies and we are expecting to complete the experiments by the end of 2018 towards the publication of our findings.
Below you can find the conceptual video for the demonstration of the ideas behind this work and a couple of more pictures.