Dynamic graphical instructions result in improved attitudes and decreased task completion time in human−robot co-working: an experimental manufacturing study

EIMONTAITE, Iveta, CAMERON, David, ROLPH, Joe, MOKARAM, Saeid, AITKEN, Jonathan M., GWILT, Ian and LAW, James (2022). Dynamic graphical instructions result in improved attitudes and decreased task completion time in human−robot co-working: an experimental manufacturing study. Sustainability, 14 (6).

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Official URL: https://www.mdpi.com/2071-1050/14/6/3289
Open Access URL: https://www.mdpi.com/2071-1050/14/6/3289/pdf (Published version)
Link to published version:: https://doi.org/10.3390/su14063289
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    Abstract

    Collaborative robots offer opportunities to increase the sustainability of work and workforces by increasing productivity, quality, and efficiency, whilst removing workers from hazardous, repetitive, and strenuous tasks. They also offer opportunities for increasing accessibility to work, supporting those who may otherwise be disadvantaged through age, ability, gender, or other characteristics. However, to maximise the benefits, employers must overcome negative attitudes toward, and a lack of confidence in, the technology, and must take steps to reduce errors arising from misuse. This study explores how dynamic graphical signage could be employed to address these issues in a manufacturing task. Forty employees from one UK manufacturing company participated in a field experiment to complete a precision pick-and-place task working in conjunction with a collaborative robotic arm. Twenty-one participants completed the task with the support of dynamic graphical signage that provided information about the robot and the activity, while the rest completed the same task with no signage. The presence of the signage improved the completion time of the task as well as reducing negative attitudes towards the robots. Furthermore, participants provided with no signage had worse outcome expectancies as a function of their response time. Our results indicate that the provision of instructional information conveyed through appropriate graphical signage can improve task efficiency and user wellbeing, contributing to greater workforce sustainability. The findings will be of interest for companies introducing collaborative robots as well as those wanting to improve their workforce wellbeing and technology acceptance.

    Item Type: Article
    Additional Information: ** From MDPI via Jisc Publications Router ** Licence for this article: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/ **Journal IDs: eissn 2071-1050 **History: published 11-03-2022; accepted 01-03-2022
    Uncontrolled Keywords: human–robot collaboration, graphical instructions, manufacturing task performance, attitudes towards robot, technology acceptance
    Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.3390/su14063289
    SWORD Depositor: Colin Knott
    Depositing User: Colin Knott
    Date Deposited: 14 Mar 2022 13:16
    Last Modified: 14 Mar 2022 16:45
    URI: http://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/29911

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