Language-free graphical signage improves human performance and reduces anxiety when working collaboratively with robots

EIMONTAITE, Iveta, GWILT, Ian, CAMERON, David, AITKEN, Jonathan M., ROLPH, Joe, MOKARAM, Saeid and LAW, James (2018). Language-free graphical signage improves human performance and reduces anxiety when working collaboratively with robots. The International Journal of Advanced Manufacturing Technology.

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As robots become more ubiquitous, and their capabilities extend, novice users will require intuitive instructional information related to their use. This is particularly important in the manufacturing sector, which is set to be transformed under Industry 4.0 by the deployment of collaborative robots in support of traditionally low-skilled, manual roles. In the first study of its kind, this paper reports how static graphical signage can improve performance and reduce anxiety in participants physically collaborating with a semi-autonomous robot. Three groups of 30 participants collaborated with a robot to perform a manufacturing-type process using graphical information that was relevant to the task, irrelevant, or absent. The results reveal that the group exposed to relevant signage was significantly more accurate in undertaking the task. Furthermore, their anxiety towards robots significantly decreased as a function of increasing accuracy. Finally, participants exposed to graphical signage showed positive emotional valence in response to successful trials. At a time when workers are concerned about the threat posed by robots to jobs, and with advances in technology requiring upskilling of the workforce, it is important to provide intuitive and supportive information to users. Whilst increasingly sophisticated technical solutions are being sought to improve communication and confidence in human-robot co-working, our findings demonstrate how simple signage can still be used as an effective tool to reduce user anxiety and increase task performance.

Item Type: Article
Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Cultural Communication and Computing Research Institute > Art and Design Research Centre
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Depositing User: Carmel House
Date Deposited: 10 Oct 2018 11:22
Last Modified: 18 Mar 2021 07:09

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