Teleoperator-Robot-Human Interaction in Manufacturing: Perspectives from Industry, Robot Manufacturers, and Researchers

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OCCUPATIONAL APPLICATIONS: Industrial robots have become an important aspect in modern industry. In the context of human-robot collaboration, enabling teleoperated robots to work in close proximity to local/onsite humans can provide new opportunities to improve human engagement in a distributed workplace. Interviews with industry stakeholders highlighted several potential benefits of such teleoperator-robot-human collaboration (tRHC), including the application of tRHC to tasks requiring both expertise and manual dexterity (e.g., maintenance and highly skilled tasks in sectors including construction, manufacturing, and healthcare), as well as opportunities to expand job accessibility for individuals with disabilities and older individuals. However, interviewees also indicated potential challenges of tRHC, particularly related to human perception (e.g., perceiving remote environments), safety, and trust. Given these challenges, and the current limited information on the practical value and implementation of tRHC, we propose several future research directions, with a focus on human factors and ergonomics, to help realize the potential benefits of tRHC.



Human-robot interaction, distributed manufacturing, manufacturing performance, remote human-robot interaction