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Relationship Between Acceptance of Collaborative Robots and Stress

JUL 2024

Abstract

Currently, collaborative robots (cobots) are mostly programmed to do one task repetitively. They can be programmed at different speeds and work near human operators. The goal of our research was to investigate the effect of robot speed on acceptance, subjective and objective stress, and cognitive workload of individuals. Therefore, we organized a repeated measures experiment in which participants (N = 25) conducted an assembly task with the YuMi cobot from ABB at a low and at a high speed. Subjective and physiological responses were collected, and participants were subjected to a standardized stress test. Our results indicate that when working with a cobot at a high speed, people believe they can work faster and be more productive but also experience a higher workload and higher perceived stress. We also found that tonic EDA is a significant physiological predictor for monitoring perceived stress in humans. We observed a greater relative increase in tonic EDA from baseline to task execution during high-speed mode compared to low-speed mode. Additionally, this increase in tonic EDA significantly correlated with participants’ perceived stress levels. However, workload could not be predicted by any of the physiological measures. Future research should explore the effect of higher cobot working speeds and the use of physiological measures (such as stress) as input to guide the collaboration between individuals and cobots.

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Shirley A. Elprama

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