Human-robot collaboration for production environments - CALL FOR PAPERS

Modern manufacturing companies are expected to quickly and efficiently adapt to production changes. Robotics has long been touted as the candidate solution for the required flexibility, although in many situations, full roboticization has either not been not economically viable or yielded all of the hoped for benefits. While robots have become faster, “smarter”, stronger, more accurate and reliable, challenges remain in adaptability, decision making and robustness to changing and uncertain situations.  To address these shortfalls and improve flexibility to fast production changes, future working environments will be populated by both humans and robots, sharing the same workspace. This scenario entails a series of issues and topics, such as safety, optimal tasks allocation and scheduling, learning and error recovery, which are still open questions for industrial settings. From a research perspective, the possibility for robotic manipulators to directly work alongside humans has stimulated a variety of novel research fields in recent years. From an industrial perspective, this newly available technology has been accepted by big manufacturing as well as small and medium enterprises. The most recent statistics indicate that the market for collaborative robots is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate of near 60%, reaching 12 billion dollars in less than ten years.

ABBs Yumi Robot at Elektro Praga    Universal Robots UR10 at Paradigm Electronics

Image credits: ABB’s Yumi robot at Elektro-Praga (left) and Universal Robots’ UR10 at Paradigm Electronics (right)

This special issue will profile up-to-date results and novel advanced solutions in human-robot collaboration (HRC) with special emphasis on successful applications in many fields, including manufacturing, assembly and constructions sites. The topics of interest for paper submissions include, but are not limited to:

  • safety aspects of HRC, including injury assessment, safety monitoring and metrics, and safety control methods;
  • human perception, prediction and intention estimation;
  • sensing devices and situational awareness for HRC;
  • human-robot activity allocation and scheduling;
  • ergonomic aspects in HRC, including human augmentation devices;
  • interaction modalities in HRC;
    learning and transferring human skills to robotic manipulators;
  • ease of use of collaborative robots (programming);
  • mechatronic design of lightweight robots, including end-effectors;
  • incorporation of virtual reality tools in HRC;
  • and others …

Important Dates

1 August 2017 – Submission deadline
1 November 2017 – Notifications to authors by EiC 
15 December 2017 – Deadline for rebuttal
1 March 2018 – Notifications to authors by EiC
15 March 2018 – Final submission and forward to publisher 
June 2018 – RAM issue

Guest Editors

Elizabeth A. Croft portrait
Elizabeth A. Croft
Call for Papers- Human-robot collaboration for production environments
University of British Columbia
Vancouver, Canada
Hao Ding portrait
Hao Ding
Call for Papers- Human-robot collaboration for production environments
ABB Corporate Research
Ladenburg, Germany
Miao Li portrait
Miao Li
Call for Papers- Human-robot collaboration for production environments
Wuhan University
Wuhan, China
Andrea M. Zanchettin   portrait placeholder
Andrea M. Zanchettin
Call for Papers- Human-robot collaboration for production environments
Politecnico Milano
Milan, Italy

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