Can I Just Pass by? Testing Design Principles for Industrial Transport Robots

Marijke Bergman, Sandra Bedaf, Goscha van Heel, Janienke Sturm


Currently, two types of industrial collaborative robots are emerging: collaborative robot arms and transport robots. For such robots to cooperate with humans, intuitive interaction is required. They have to display behaviour that is predictable and legible and elicits positive emotions. In this paper we examine the application of two general design principles to the design of transport robots: (1) use analogies from nature, and (2)) adhere to social rules. Both are expected to result in better user-experience and understanding of the behaviour and intentions of a transport robot. The current study tests the effects of using 1a) a curved path and 1b) average walking speed in combination with deceleration upon nearing the human, and 2a) swerving to the right and 2b) respecting personal space. The principles tested in this study show positive effects for user experience and legibility. However, predictability is not improved. Options for additional adjustments, such as the use of communicative lights, are discussed.


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