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Complexity-based task allocation in human-robot collaborative assembly

Complexity-based task allocation in human-robot collaborative assembly Over the past years, collaborative robots have been introduced as a new generation of industrial robotics working alongside humans to share the workload. These robots have the potential to enable human–robot collaboration (HRC) for flexible automation. However, the deployment of these robots in industrial environments, particularly in assembly, still comprises several challenges, of which one is skills-based tasks distribution between humans and robots. With ever-decreasing product life cycles and high-mix low volume production, the skills-based task distribution is to become a frequent activity. This paper aims to present a methodology for tasks distribution between human and robot in assembly work by complexity-based tasks classification.Design/methodology/approachThe assessment method of assembly tasks is based on the physical features of the components and associated task description. The attributes that can influence assembly complexity for automation are presented. Physical experimentation with a collaborative robot and work with several industrial cases helped to formulate the presented method.FindingsThe method will differentiate the tasks with higher complexity of handling, mounting, human safety and part feeding from low-complexity tasks, thereby simplifying collaborative automation in HRC scenario. Such structured method for tasks distribution in HRC can significantly reduce deployment and changeover times.Originality/valueAssembly attributes affecting HRC automation are identified. The methodology is presented for evaluating tasks for assigning to the robot and creating a work–load balance forming a human–robot work team. Finally, an assessment tool for simplified industrial deployment. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Industrial Robot: The International Journal of Robotics Research and Application Emerald Publishing

Complexity-based task allocation in human-robot collaborative assembly

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
© Emerald Publishing Limited
ISSN
0143-991X
DOI
10.1108/ir-11-2018-0231
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Over the past years, collaborative robots have been introduced as a new generation of industrial robotics working alongside humans to share the workload. These robots have the potential to enable human–robot collaboration (HRC) for flexible automation. However, the deployment of these robots in industrial environments, particularly in assembly, still comprises several challenges, of which one is skills-based tasks distribution between humans and robots. With ever-decreasing product life cycles and high-mix low volume production, the skills-based task distribution is to become a frequent activity. This paper aims to present a methodology for tasks distribution between human and robot in assembly work by complexity-based tasks classification.Design/methodology/approachThe assessment method of assembly tasks is based on the physical features of the components and associated task description. The attributes that can influence assembly complexity for automation are presented. Physical experimentation with a collaborative robot and work with several industrial cases helped to formulate the presented method.FindingsThe method will differentiate the tasks with higher complexity of handling, mounting, human safety and part feeding from low-complexity tasks, thereby simplifying collaborative automation in HRC scenario. Such structured method for tasks distribution in HRC can significantly reduce deployment and changeover times.Originality/valueAssembly attributes affecting HRC automation are identified. The methodology is presented for evaluating tasks for assigning to the robot and creating a work–load balance forming a human–robot work team. Finally, an assessment tool for simplified industrial deployment.

Journal

Industrial Robot: The International Journal of Robotics Research and ApplicationEmerald Publishing

Published: Aug 5, 2019

Keywords: Automation; Lean automation; Human–robot collaboration; Industry 4.0; Cobots; Assembly

References