|Title||Comparative Performance of Human and Mobile Robotic Assistants in Collaborative Fetch-and-Deliver Tasks|
|Publication Type||Conference Proceedings|
|Year of Conference||2014|
|Authors||Unhelkar, V. V., H. Chit Siu, and J. A. Shah|
|Conference Name||ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human Robot Interaction (HRI)|
|Keywords||Human-Robot collaboration, Manufacturing, Mobile Robotic Assistant|
There is an emerging desire across manufacturing industries to deploy robots that support people in their manual work, rather than replace human workers. This paper explores one such opportunity, which is to field a mobile robotic assistant that travels between part carts and the automotive final assembly line, delivering tools and materials to the human workers. We compare the performance of a mobile robotic assistant to that of a human assistant to gain a better understanding of the factors that impact its effectiveness. Statistically significant differences emerge based on type of assistant, human or robot. Interaction times and idle times are statistically significantly higher for the robotic assistant than the human assistant. We report additional differences in participant's subjective response regarding team fluency, situational awareness, comfort and safety. Finally, we discuss how results from the experiment inform the design of a more effective assistant.