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Towards Autonomous Construction Equipment: Supporting On-Site Collaboration Between Automatons and Humans
Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Mechanical Engineering. Volvo Construction Equipment AB. (Product Development Research Laboratory)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7741-6405
(English)In: International Journal of Product Development, ISSN 1477-9056, E-ISSN 1741-8178Article in journal (Refereed) Accepted
Abstract [en]

To support the application of automated machines andcollaborative robots in unstructured environments like in the mining,agriculture and construction sector the needs of the human co-workershould be investigated to ensure a safe and productive collaboration.The empirical study presented includes the prototyping of a solution forhuman-machine communication, which has been supported by a designthinking approach. An understanding of the human needs had beencreated through jobsite observations and semi-structured interviewswith human workforces working in close proximity to heavy mobileequipment. The results shows that trust and communication have a bigimpact on the jobsite collaboration.

Keywords [en]
Human-Robot Collaboration, Autonomous Machines, Construction Sites, User Experience, Design Thinking, Human-Robot Trust, Human-Robot Teamwork
National Category
Other Mechanical Engineering
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:bth-18988OAI: oai:DiVA.org:bth-18988DiVA, id: diva2:1374873
Projects
Model Driven Development and Decision SupportAvailable from: 2019-12-03 Created: 2019-12-03 Last updated: 2019-12-13Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. A Step Towards the Design of Collaborative Autonomous Machines: A Study on Construction and Mining Equipment
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A Step Towards the Design of Collaborative Autonomous Machines: A Study on Construction and Mining Equipment
2019 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Fully autonomous construction and mining machines are not science fiction anymore. For special applications, these types of machinery are well known for several years. The construction and mining industries are ripe for innovative product and service offers, including automated and fully autonomous machines at a larger scale. Nevertheless, commercially available autonomous machines for the main markets are still rare. Driven by the advancements in sensor technology, increased connectivity, and on-board computational capabilities, automation of machine functions and subsystems led to the development of advanced operator-assistant functions in certain fields like material handling, predictive maintenance, and operator guidance. Semi-automated machines, supporting the machine operator during normal operation, are well accepted by users and customers and show beneficial effects on the productivity of the machine and the overall work process. The purpose of this thesis is to generate a deeper understanding of the specific requirements needed to support the design decisions during the development of fully autonomous machines. Complementary, deeper insights into the efficient collaboration between autonomous machines and human collaborators are explored.

The thesis summarizes the research performed by the author, as an industrial Ph.D. student and Specialist for Intelligent Machines at Volvo Construction Equipment. Performed research comprises the investigation of the state-of-the-art approaches in the automation of machines and dedicated functions with special emphasis on the connectivity of the different systems and components up to the site management solution. Further, the work includes the exploration of data-mining through early experience prototyping as a step towards data-driven design of a product-service system. In additional the research covered the support of on-site collaboration between autonomous machines and humans by investigating team behavior and trust development among humans.

Conclusions from this work are that autonomous machine design requires new sets of requirements to support early decision making during the development process. Dedicated data collection based on different methods such as, data-mining, needfinding, and observations, supported by multiple physical and virtual artifacts can generate useful data to support the decision-making. Trust between humans and machines, and the preconditions of developing this trust need to be captured as specific requirements. To support further development in the area of autonomous machine design, an interaction model had been proposed to map possible interactions of an autonomous machine with objects and collaborators within the same work area. To capture the different nature of the possible interactions, several levels had been introduced to enable the distinction between cognitive, and physical, as well as intended, and unintended interactions.

 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Karlskrona: Blekinge Tekniska Högskola, 2019
Series
Blekinge Institute of Technology Licentiate Dissertation Series, ISSN 1650-2140 ; 17
National Category
Mechanical Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:bth-18944 (URN)978-91-7295-393-2 (ISBN)
Presentation
2019-12-19, J1650, Campus Gräsvik, Karlskrona, 15:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2019-11-21 Created: 2019-11-21 Last updated: 2019-12-18Bibliographically approved

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