ICRA 2022 Workshop on Collaborative Robots and the Work of the Future
Collaborative Robotics are positioned as disruptive innovations for the factory floor and the private sector. These systems promise safe operation in proximity to a human, and, in the case of newer emerging systems, a reduced cost point and a modern or innovative form of programming. Yet, a single interpretation of the capabilities, roles and safety specifications of a collaborative robot is not cohesive across industry and academia. In this workshop, we are interested in the nuanced interpretation of collaborative robots, the different perspectives on collaboration between industry and academia and their role in the work of the future. The aim of this workshop is to bring together innovators in both industry and academia to identify clear and outstanding problems related to the introduction of advanced collaborative systems in industrial manufacturing. We will host invited speakers from both industry and academia to discuss particular applications of interest, as well as detailed requirements for their introduction. This includes speakers from the social sciences, as well as speakers from industrial research centers. The workshop will also involve interactive sessions led by industry specialists in which problems are identified, discussed, and highlighted. We call for position papers that should describe perceived bottlenecks, proposed directions of study, or problem definitions and requirements for effective integration of advanced collaborative systems.
Collaborative Robotics are positioned as disruptive innovations for the factory floor. These systems promise safe operation in proximity to a human, and, in the case of newer emerging systems, a reduced cost point and a modern or innovative form of programming. However, in a recent study, we found that these systems operate on the factory floor in a similar way as that of an industrial robot. In some cases cages were removed, but elaborate safety systems remain in place to ensure that the robot freezes when a human comes into proximity, and their use cases were primarily a subset of those involving an industrial robot. Meanwhile, academic research in human-robot interaction (HRI) has developed advanced and innovative techniques for collaboration. Advanced safety systems, models of human behavior, and sophisticated artificial intelligence have led to new and exciting demonstrations of collaboration. These systems have demonstrated team performance benefits, and have great potential in an industrial setting as a form of assistive automation.
We wish to highlight use cases and outstanding problems that can unite the industrial and academic collaborative contexts. In this workshop, we will investigate the nuances of industrial manufacturing, and identify clear and outstanding problems related to the introduction of advanced collaborative systems. We will host invited speakers from both industry and academia to discuss particular applications of interest, as well as detailed requirements that would be necessary for their introduction. This will include speakers from the social sciences, as well as speakers from industrial research centers. The workshop will also involve interactive sessions led by industry specialists in which problems are identified, discussed, and highlighted. The workshop will call for position papers that should describe the following (but not limited to):
Perceived bottlenecks in the use of collaborative robots in industry.
Perceived bottlenecks in the transfer of academic research to industry sectors.
Proposed directions of study for effective integration of advanced collaborative systems.
Problem definitions and requirements for effective integration of advanced collaborative systems.
Reviewers will include industry specialists who will highlight the applicability of techniques for industry and provide relevant feedback on submitted work.
The workshop will expand the originality and diversity of typical workshop content by including speakers from industrial research centers as well as social scientists focusing on industrial automation. In addition, the workshop is intended to be interactive, with frequent opportunities for participants to engage with the material and with speakers. These interactive opportunities will primarily take the form of breakout sessions in which participants will split into groups focusing on related topics. Perspectives in the breakout sessions will be recorded and reflected in a report that we intend to publish in Foundations and Trends® in Robotics.
This full-day workshop will include invited speaker presentations, panel discussions, selected short position paper presentations and breakout sessions. It will focus on three major themes:
Collaborative Robotics in Industry can have a very different definition from that in academia. The ISO defines a collaborative robot as one that can be used for collaboration, which in turn is defined as operation within a safe workspace where a human and worker can perform operations concurrently. As a result, what is referred to as a collaborative robot does not imply collaborative operation, and collaboration does not imply cooperation. In this theme we want to explore industrial applications of collaborative robots, and what collaborative operation typically constitutes. Further we wish to explore prospective use cases for collaborative robotics that begin to pursue collaboration.
Collaborative Robotics in Academia has broad scope and applicability, referring to human robot interaction generally with scope for both industrial and domestic applications. As a result, the concept of collaboration or cooperation is fundamentally different; resulting in stark differences in context from that used in industry. Here we wish to explore academic contexts focusing on industrial collaboration, and the directions currently under exploration.
General Requirements and Macro Perspectives on Industry Requirements highlights key information that can help catalyze innovation to the benefit of both industry and academia. This theme will focus on industrial manufacturing, the deployment of advanced automation systems, as well as relevant standards and requirements that industrial automation must adhere to.
Each theme will be addressed in different sessions (Morning: 9am-12pm, Afternoon: 1-3:50pm and Evening: 4-6:30pm). To promote active collaboration among speakers and participants, we propose for each theme-based session to include the following:
15 min invited speakers presentations.
A 20min invited speaker panel discussion.
5 min presentations for position papers, in total 20-30min time slot per theme.
40min-1h break out room discussions per theme.
IEEE RAS Technical Committee support
This workshop proposal has been discussed with and endorsed by the following IEEE RAS Technical Committees
TC on Collaborative Automation for Flexible Manufacturing
TC on Human-Robot Interaction and Coordination
TC on Digital Manufacturing and Human-Centered Automation