Analyzing the Effects of Human-Aware Motion Planning on Close-Proximity Human-Robot Collaboration

TitleAnalyzing the Effects of Human-Aware Motion Planning on Close-Proximity Human-Robot Collaboration
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsLasota, P. A., and J. A. Shah
JournalHuman Factors: The Journal of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society (HFES) [2014 Human Factors Prize Finalist]
Start Page21
Date Published02/2015
Keywordshuman satisfaction, human–robot interaction, motion-level adaptation, team fluency

Objective: The objective of this work was to examine human response to motion-level robot adaptation to determine its effect on team fluency, human satisfaction, and perceived safety and comfort.

Background: The evaluation of human response to adaptive robotic assistants has been limited, particularly in the realm of motion-level adaptation. The lack of true human-in-the-loop evaluation has made it impossible to determine whether such adaptation would lead to efficient and satisfying human–robot interaction.

Method: We conducted an experiment in which participants worked with a robot to perform a collaborative task. Participants worked with an adaptive robot incorporating human-aware motion planning and with a baseline robot using shortest-path motions. Team fluency was evaluated through a set of quantitative metrics, and human satisfaction and perceived safety and comfort were evaluated through questionnaires.

Results: When working with the adaptive robot, participants completed the task 5.57% faster, with 19.9% more concurrent motion, 2.96% less human idle time, 17.3% less robot idle time, and a 15.1% greater separation distance. Questionnaire responses indicated that participants felt safer and more comfortable when working with an adaptive robot and were more satisfied with it as a teammate than with the standard robot.

Conclusion: People respond well to motion-level robot adaptation, and significant benefits can be achieved from its use in terms of both human–robot team fluency and human worker satisfaction.

Application: Our conclusion supports the development of technologies that could be used to implement human-aware motion planning in collaborative robots and the use of this technique for close-proximity human–robot collaboration.

Original Publication
Refereed DesignationRefereed