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      Virtual Reality, a tool for safe testing of user experience in collaborative robotics


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      34th British HCI Workshop and Doctoral Consortium (HCI2021-WDC)

      Post-pandemic HCI – Living Digitally

      20th - 21st July 2021

      collaborative robotics, acceptability, uncanny valley, virtual reality



            Collaborative robots (cobots) could help humans in tasks that are mundane, dangerous or where human contact carries risk, as it has been recently uncovered by the COVID-19 pandemic. Yet, the collaboration between humans and robots is severely limited by the aspects of safety and comfort of human operators. In this paper, we propose the use of virtual reality (VR) as a way to test collaboration with robots in situations that are difficult or even impossible to safely test in real life, such as those where it would be dangerous to perform testing. Using VR as a means to evaluate collaboration with robots would allow collecting human behavioral data, subjective self-reports, and biosignals signifying human comfort, stress and cognitive load during collaboration. The use of VR allows direct porting of results to real robotic control systems. This approach can revolutionize the way we design, train and test cobots, and open up a range of new design applications: from industry, through healthcare to space operations. The naturalistic collaborative and assistive robots will be also useful when human motor control is impaired, whether by disease (like cerebral palsy or paralysis) or damage (like amputation) or for the older adult population.


            Author and article information

            July 2021
            : 1-6
            [0001]M-ITI | NOVA LINCS, Univ. Madeira

            Funchal, Portugal
            [0002]DEI | CISUC, Univ. Coimbra

            Coimbra, Portugal
            [0003]Proaction Lab | CINEICC, Univ. Coimbra

            Coimbra, Portugal
            [0004]ISR | DEEC, Univ. Coimbra

            Coimbra, Portugal
            © Branco et al. Published by BCS Learning and Development Ltd. Proceedings of the 34th British HCI Workshop and Doctoral Consortium 2021, UK

            This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

            34th British HCI Workshop and Doctoral Consortium
            London, UK
            20th - 21st July 2021
            Electronic Workshops in Computing (eWiC)
            Post-pandemic HCI – Living Digitally
            Product Information: 1477-9358BCS Learning & Development
            Self URI (journal page): https://ewic.bcs.org/
            Electronic Workshops in Computing


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