skip to main content


This content will become publicly available on March 11, 2025

Title: Making Informed Decisions: Supporting Cobot Integration Considering Business and Worker Preferences
Robots are ubiquitous in manufacturing settings from small-scale to large-scale. While collaborative robots (cobots) have signicant potential in these settings due to their exibility and ease of use, they can only reach their full potential when properly integrated. Specically, cobots need to be integrated in a manner that properly utilizes their strengths, improves the performance of the manufacturing process, and can be used in concert with human workers. Understanding how to properly integrate cobots into existing manufacturing workows requires careful consideration and the knowledge of roboticists, manufacturing engineers, and business administrators. In this work, we propose an approach to collaborating with manufacturers prior to the integration process that involves planning, analysis, development, and presentation of results. This approach ultimately allows manufacturers to make an informed choice about cobot integration within their facilities. We illustrate the application of this approach through a case study with a manufacturing collaborator and discuss insights learned throughout the process.  more » « less
Award ID(s):
1822872 1925043 2026478 2152163
NSF-PAR ID:
10482891
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ; ;
Publisher / Repository:
ACM
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Proceedings of the 2024 ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction
Format(s):
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Ruis, Andrew R. ; Lee, Seung B. (Ed.)
    Rapid advances in technology also come with increased training needs for people who engineer and interact with these technologies. One such technology is collaborative robots, cobots, which are designed to be safer and easier to use than their traditional robotic counterparts. However, there have been few studies of how people use cobots and even fewer identifying what a user must know to properly set up and effectively use cobots for their manufacturing processes. In this study, we interviewed nine experts in robots and automation in manufacturing settings. We employ a quantitative ethnographic approach to gain qualitative insights into the cultural practices of robotics experts and corroborate these stories with quantitative warrants. Both quantitative and qualitative analyses revealed that experts put safety first when designing and monitoring cobot applications. This study improves our understanding of expert problem-solving in collaborative robotics, defines an expert model that can serve as a basis for the development of an authentic learning technology, and illustrates a useful method for modeling expertise in vocational settings. 
    more » « less
  2. Background and Situation Analysis

    The importance of Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) projects for the protection of health is embedded in the sustainable development goals. However, within the development and humanitarian fields sustainability of WASH projects is still a challenge with 30–50% of projects failing within two to five years of implementation. Though failure is not linked to any one source, a common theme speaks to a greater need for community engagement and integration of the wants and needs of the end-user in the design process. Social marketing, with its focus on the consumer and use of commercial marketing strategies to achieve behavior change is a promising approach that can be integrated into ongoing WASH initiatives to meet program outcomes and to achieve long-term sustainability.

    Priority audience

    Primary audience includes technicians who manufacture and repair pitcher pumps. Secondary audience includes community members in Toamasina, Madagascar, who will experience a decrease in exposure to lead through their water supply.

    Behavioral objectives

    Decrease exposure to lead (Pb) introduced through the use of a decentralized, self-supply water system, the pitcher pump. Specifically, decrease use of leaded components in the manufacturing and repair of pitcher-pumps

    Strategy/Intervention

    Development of the intervention followed the social marketing process including conducting a situational analysis, identification and selection of a behavioral focus and priority population, formative research, development of an integrated marketing strategy, pretesting the strategy, followed by campaign implementation, and monitoring and evaluation. An intervention focused on building a sense of community and introducing the element of professionalism for the pump manufacturers was developed, consisting of personalized one-on-one outreach to raise awareness of the health topic, followed by skill building trainings on how to make the switch to non-leaded components. This was coupled with tangible products that created a new professional network, documentation of work, and backing of work by trusted government entities.

    Evaluation Methods and Results

    Using the theory of planned behavior, a pre/post-test summative evaluation was developed. Preliminary results indicate that pump technicians no longer use lead in pumps unless specifically requested by the pump owners. These results indicate a positive shift towards the use of lead-free components with project follow-up and analysis ongoing.

    Recommendations for Social Marketing Practice

    Use of social marketing within the WASH sector is lacking. This paper demonstrates the integration of social marketing in an ongoing WASH project. Through a description of each step of the process, our experiences in implementing it and the lessons learned, we hope to guide future integration. Additionally, this paper demonstrates the convergence of engineers and social marketers working collaboratively on an interdisciplinary team and how this served to enhance project understanding, aid in building local partnerships and help with long-term sustainability.

     
    more » « less
  3. Worldwide, manufacturers are reimagining the future of their workforce and its connection to technology. Rather than replacing humans, Industry 5.0 explores how humans and robots can best complement one another's unique strengths. However, realizing this vision requires an in-depth understanding of how workers view the positive and negative attributes of their jobs, and the place of robots within it. In this paper, we explore the relationship between work attributes and automation goals by engaging in field research at a manufacturing plant. We conducted 50 face-to-face interviews with assembly-line workers (n=50), which we analyzed using discourse analysis and social constructivist methods. We found that the work attributes deemed most positive by participants include social interaction, movement and exercise, (human) autonomy, problem solving, task variety, and building with their hands. The main negative work attributes included health and safety issues, feeling rushed, and repetitive work. We identified several ways robots could help reduce negative work attributes and enhance positive ones, such as reducing work interruptions and cultivating physical and psychological well-being. Based on our findings, we created a set of integration considerations for organizations planning to deploy robotics technology, and discuss how the manufacturing and HRI communities can explore these ideas in the future. 
    more » « less
  4. Abstract

    The use of engineered cells, tissues, and organs has the opportunity to change the way injuries and diseases are treated. Commercialization of these groundbreaking technologies has been limited in part by the complex and costly nature of their manufacture. Process-related variability and even small changes in the manufacturing process of a living product will impact its quality. Without real-time integrated detection, the magnitude and mechanism of that impact are largely unknown. Real-time and non-destructive sensor technologies are key for in-process insight and ensuring a consistent product throughout commercial scale-up and/or scale-out. The application of a measurement technology into a manufacturing process requires cell and tissue developers to understand the best way to apply a sensor to their process, and for sensor manufacturers to understand the design requirements and end-user needs. Furthermore, sensors to monitor component cells’ health and phenotype need to be compatible with novel integrated and automated manufacturing equipment. This review summarizes commercially relevant sensor technologies that can detect meaningful quality attributes during the manufacturing of regenerative medicine products, the gaps within each technology, and sensor considerations for manufacturing.

     
    more » « less
  5. Abstract

    Small‐scale robots capable of remote active steering and navigation offer great potential for biomedical applications. However, the current design and manufacturing procedure impede their miniaturization and integration of various diagnostic and therapeutic functionalities. Herein, submillimeter fiber robots that can integrate navigation, sensing, and modulation functions are presented. These fiber robots are fabricated through a scalable thermal drawing process at a speed of 4 meters per minute, which enables the integration of ferromagnetic, electrical, optical, and microfluidic composite with an overall diameter of as small as 250 µm and a length of as long as 150 m. The fiber tip deflection angle can reach up to 54ounder a uniform magnetic field of 45 mT. These fiber robots can navigate through complex and constrained environments, such as artificial vessels and brain phantoms. Moreover, Langendorff mouse hearts model, glioblastoma micro platforms, and in vivo mouse models are utilized to demonstrate the capabilities of sensing electrophysiology signals and performing a localized treatment. Additionally, it is demonstrated that the fiber robots can serve as endoscopes with embedded waveguides. These fiber robots provide a versatile platform for targeted multimodal detection and treatment at hard‐to‐reach locations in a minimally invasive and remotely controllable manner.

     
    more » « less