Integrating Robots into Team-Oriented Environments

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Shah, Julie
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Recent advances in computation, sensing, and hardware enable robotics to perform an increasing percentage of traditionally manual tasks in manufacturing. Yet, often the assembly mechanic cannot be removed entirely from the process. This provides new economic motivation to explore opportunities where assembly mechanics and industrial robots may work in close physical collaboration. In this talk, I present adaptive work-sharing and scheduling algorithms to collaborate with industrial robots on two levels: one-to-one human robot teamwork, and factory-level sequencing and scheduling of human and robotic tasks. I discuss our recent work developing adaptive control methods that incorporate high-level, person-specific planning and execution mechanisms to promote predictable, convergent team behavior. We apply human factors modeling coupled with statistical methods for planning and control to derive quantitative methods for assessing the quality and convergence of learnt teaming models, and to perform risk-sensitive robot control on the production line. I also discuss computationally efficient methods for coordinating human and robotic sequencing and scheduling at the factory-level. Tight integration of human workers and robotic resources involves complex dependencies. Even relatively small increases in process time variability lead to schedule inefficiencies and performance degradation. Our methods allow fast, dynamic computation of robot tasking and scheduling to respond to people working and coordinating in shared physical space, and provide real-time guarantees that schedule deadlines and other operational constraints will be met.
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48:35 minutes
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Moving Image
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