Affordability and ease of training have led to the rise of the Collaborative Robots (co-bots). Co-bots are designed assist human workers in a variety of repetitive and ergonomically challenging tasks.
Although typically associated with large-scale impersonal tasks, such as materials movement logistics and industrial assembly processes, co-bots are increasingly expanding into public-facing service sector roles in healthcare and security. The interactive nature that these robotic systems have with their human partners requires safety measures in design and build, such as force impact sensors and soft and rounded surfaces to reduce the risk of injury. Additional aesthetic design decisions often arise based on the level of human-robot interaction, requiring the need for input from faculty outside traditional robotics engineering programs.
These new sector robotics require a new, human-centric design process to further advances. IRIM is a leader in human-robot interactions, developing robots that can learn from human demonstration, as well as human-robot teams that can assemble and manipulate objects together. Where flexible and advanced manufacturing solutions are required, IRIM focuses on designing user interfaces that allow quick and easy programming by human operators through both software generation and learning by demonstration. IRIM is also exploring robot human interactions outside the traditional workspace, including research into art and education based robot-human collaborative processes.
Collaborative Robotics Highlights