Distributed Cognition and Human-Co-Robot Manufacturing Teams

Issues in Design and Implementation

Authored by: Lora A. Cavuoto , Ann M. Bisantz

Fields of Practice and Applied Solutions within Distributed Team Cognition

Print publication date:  September  2020
Online publication date:  September  2020

Print ISBN: 9781138626003
eBook ISBN: 9780429459542
Adobe ISBN:


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Collaborative robots (co-robots) work in direct cooperation with a human to perform tasks jointly during production operation. Co-robots present a potentially transformative technology for manufacturers, by allowing the flexible and creative aspects of (human) manual work to be combined with the efficiency of automation. However, these advantages depend on proper design and effective integration of the collaborative robot into the manufacturing operations—that is, effective design of the human-co-robot manufacturing team. This chapter identifies theoretical frameworks and methods drawn from human factors which can inform the study and design of human-co-robot manufacturing teams, including situation awareness, communication, trust/reliability, and function allocation. The impacts of the teams on operator safety, production quality, and efficiency are also explored. Implications for system (both robot and work environment) design and operator training are presented.

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