School of Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering


27 Aug 2021

Expanding human-robot collaboration in manufacturing: PhD student trains AI to detect human intention

Human and robot finger touching

Machines and robots undoubtedly make life easier, as they carry out jobs with precision and speed, and, unlike humans, they do not require breaks as they are never tired. As a result, companies are looking to use them more and more in their manufacturing processes to improve productivity and remove dirty, dangerous, and dull tasks.

However, there are still so many tasks in the working environment that require human dexterity, adaptability, and flexibility.

Human-robot collaboration is an exciting opportunity for future manufacturing since it combines the best of both worlds.

The relationship requires close interaction between humans and robots, which could highly profit from anticipating a collaborative partner's next action.

PhD student Achim Buerkle and a team of researchers from the Intelligent Automation Centre at Loughborough University have published promising results for ‘training’ robots to detect arm movement intention before humans articulate the movements in the Robotics and Computer-Integrated Manufacturing journal.

Image courtesy of Getty Images.

Athena Swan Bronze award

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The Wolfson School of Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering
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