Horizon Blog

Understanding Interaction and Perception in Mediated Work with Cobots

Horizon’s Agile project ‘Robots Mediating Interaction’ will develop our understanding of three key things:

  • How people perceive collaborative robots (‘cobots’) – how they think about /of them as artefacts, agents etc.
  • How the capabilities of cobots present advantages and disadvantages for collaborative activities with/around them, and how they compare with other technologies with similar ‘capabilities’ e.g., remote teleoperators.
  • How people ‘discipline’ or fit and adapt their interactions with/around cobots to manage collaborative activities.

We will explore these questions with one of the service robots in the Cobot Maker Space. This robot’s capabilities include mobility, face recognition, text-to-speech, head and arm movement and the potential to carry objects in a basic way from one place to another.

We plan to build on prior work at Nottingham on Wizard of Oz (WoZ) interfaces for robotics, and adapt this for the service robot. Building these capabilities will enable us to then experiment with various scenarios in which the service robot acts as a mediator between groups of people conducting a collaborative task. Our initial work will focus on building this WoZ capability.

We are currently considering possible scenarios for collaborative work mediated via the service robot. For instance, one option could be to have two teams (separated) with the service robot as mediator between them, acting as a go-between for parts construction for manufacturing or medical scenarios.

Written by Stuart Reeves





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