The chair is composed of three main research focus areas.
- Study and design of a men/robot collaboration, defining the conditions for acceptability using virtual reality: Area 1
In today’s industries, robots are placed in screened areas to preserve health and safety of workers. However, new types of robots able to interact safely with human was developed in recent years. The use of these robots will improve the efficiency of the production line, but only if that kind of collaboration with robots is accepted by the operators. The characteristics of the robot necessarily affect its acceptability: its size, its appearance, noise, speed and so on. The determination of these characteristics is the focus of this research area. The use of virtual reality is recommended in order to test a number of hypotheses in a short time, without security issues.
Developing robots able to interact safely with humans requires the development of sensors technology (visual, audible, tactile…) and algorithms (behavior, avoidance strategy…). These technologies, integrated in the robot, will learn about its environment (proximity of humans, for example). The processing of this information (artificial intelligence) will allow the robot to adapt itself to his environment and to work safely with humans. The development of sensors and artificial intelligence are the foundation of this research area.
- Assistance and training for future automated means: Area 3
Minimizing the unavailability of machine tools is a major challenge for an industrial company. The unavailability can be generated by maintenance operations and the time devoted to the training of operators. To minimize the time of maintenance, it seems worthwhile to consider the setting up of technical assistance by augmented reality. The application of augmented reality assistance and training is the foundation of this research topic.