Collaborative robots (Cobots) are compact machines programmable for a wide variety of tasks and able to ease operators’ working conditions. They can be therefore adopted in small and medium enterprises, characterized by small production batches and a multitude of different and complex tasks. To develop an actual collaborative application, a suitable task design and a suitable interaction strategy between human and cobot are required. The achievement of an effective and efficient communication strategy between human and cobot is one of the milestones of collaborative approaches, which can be based on several communication technologies, possibly in a multimodal way. In this work, we focus on a cooperative assembly task. A brain–computer interface (BCI) is exploited to supply commands to the cobot, to allow the operator the possibility to switch, with the desired timing, between independent and cooperative modality of assistance. The two kinds of control can be activated based on the brain commands gathered when the operator looks at two blinking screens corresponding to different commands, so that the operator does not need to have his hands free to give command messages to the cobot, and the assembly process can be sped up. The feasibility of the proposed approach is validated by developing and testing the interaction in an assembly application. Cycle times for the same assembling task, carried out with and without the cobot support, are compared in terms of average times, variability and learning trends. The usability and effectiveness of the proposed interaction strategy are therefore evaluated, to assess the advantages of the proposed solution in an actual industrial environment.

Brain–Computer Interface and Hand-Guiding Control in a Human–Robot Collaborative Assembly Task

Dmytriyev Y.;Insero F.;Carnevale M.;Giberti H.
2022-01-01

Abstract

Collaborative robots (Cobots) are compact machines programmable for a wide variety of tasks and able to ease operators’ working conditions. They can be therefore adopted in small and medium enterprises, characterized by small production batches and a multitude of different and complex tasks. To develop an actual collaborative application, a suitable task design and a suitable interaction strategy between human and cobot are required. The achievement of an effective and efficient communication strategy between human and cobot is one of the milestones of collaborative approaches, which can be based on several communication technologies, possibly in a multimodal way. In this work, we focus on a cooperative assembly task. A brain–computer interface (BCI) is exploited to supply commands to the cobot, to allow the operator the possibility to switch, with the desired timing, between independent and cooperative modality of assistance. The two kinds of control can be activated based on the brain commands gathered when the operator looks at two blinking screens corresponding to different commands, so that the operator does not need to have his hands free to give command messages to the cobot, and the assembly process can be sped up. The feasibility of the proposed approach is validated by developing and testing the interaction in an assembly application. Cycle times for the same assembling task, carried out with and without the cobot support, are compared in terms of average times, variability and learning trends. The usability and effectiveness of the proposed interaction strategy are therefore evaluated, to assess the advantages of the proposed solution in an actual industrial environment.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11571/1464925
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