|Human-Aware Robotic Assistant for Collaborative Assembly: Integrating Human Motion Prediction With Planning in Time
|Year of Publication
|Unhelkar*, V. V., P. A. Lasota*, Q. Tyroller, R-D. Buhai, L. Marceau, B. Deml, and J. A. Shah
|IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters (RA-L)
|Assembly Lines, Collaborative Robots, Physical Human-Robot Interaction, topic3
|Introducing mobile robots into the collaborative assembly process poses unique challenges for ensuring efficient and safe human-robot interaction. Current human-robot work cells require the robot to cease operating completely whenever a human enters a shared region of the given cell, and the robots do not explicitly model or adapt to the behavior of the human. In this work, we present a human-aware robotic system with single-axis mobility that incorporates both predictions of human motion and planning in time to execute efficient and safe motions during automotive final assembly. We evaluate our system in simulation against three alternative methods, including a baseline approach emulating the behavior of standard safety systems in factories today. We also assess the system within a factory test environment. Through both live demonstration and results from simulated experiments, we show that our approach produces statistically significant improvements in quantitative measures of safety and fluency of interaction.