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Measuring user experience for human-robot collaborative interfaces

Measuring user experience for human-robot collaborative interfaces

uxdesign.ccuxdesign.cc3 weeks ago in#UX Love29

Metrics to evaluate collaborative human-robot interfaces and insights from user studiesCollaboration is the action of working with someone to produce or create something | Photo by Pavel DanilyukCollaboration, as defined by Jeff Faneuff , is the action of working with someone to produce or create something. Robot technology was designed and developed to assist people in repetitive or mundane tasks like working on the assembly line.During the early stages of robot technology development, only highly trained technicians and programmers were allowed to interact with the robots which were expensive and comprised of highly sensitive technology. In recent years, new technologies have enabled robots that work closely with humans, called collaborative robots (COBOTs).As defined by Mike Beaupre of KUKA Robotics, a collaborative robot is defined as a robot which is designed for human interactions within a designated workspace.With the explosion of COVID-19 and its impact, there is an increase in demand for human-robot collaboration across all industries. In the future, it’s not machines that will take over the workplace. Humans and robots will work together to accomplish the same goal.Cobots can be used in a variety of settings, from manufacturing and logistics, food processing, restaurants, healthcare and education. Some of the examples of collaborative robots are Baxter and Sawyer by Rethinks Robotics, ABB Yumi, etc. The usual applications of collaborative robots are machine tending, pick and place, assembly, packaging, etc. But there are also other humanoid robots like the educational robot NAO, which mainly interact with humans in collaborative and mediating roles.Nao robot interacting with kids | Photo by Pavel DanilyukIt is extremely difficult to design human-robot collaborative interfaces as there are no standardized metrics to measure the usability and user experience for each use case scenario before deploying the robot. In order to address this gap, I conducted a user study to evaluate the user experience of existing human-robot collaborative interfaces as an individual project towards a Master’s in Human-computer interaction. I worked under the guidance of Associate Professor Sue Cobb, Associate Professor Robert Houghton, and Professor David T Branson III of Nottingham Advanced Robotics Laboratory, NARLy from Faculty of Engineering at University of Nottingham.The results of my study provided valuable insights into the design of effective Human-robot collaborative interfaces (HRCI).Depending on the level of interaction, the HRI systems may be categorized as below.The first is the shared workspace, where the robot and user are both in the same physical space. This design is best used for tasks that require direct interaction between the robot and user. In this system, the human and the robot may perform tasks either in collaboration or individually.Shared workspace, where the robot and user are both in the same physical space | Photo by Jeremy Bezanger on UnsplashThe second is the remote workspace, where the robot and user are in separate physical spaces. This design is best used for tasks that require the user to monitor the robot from a distance.The third is the virtual workspace, where the robot and user are in separate virtual spaces. This design is best used for tasks that require the user to interact with the robot remotely.  » Read More

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