Updating design guidelines for cognitive ergonomics in human-centred collaborative robotics applications: An expert survey

Appl Ergon. 2024 May:117:104246. doi: 10.1016/j.apergo.2024.104246. Epub 2024 Feb 13.


Within the framework of Industry 5.0, human factors are essential for enhancing the work conditions and well-being of operators interacting with even more advanced and smart manufacturing systems and machines and increasing production performances. Nevertheless, cognitive ergonomics is often underestimated when implementing advanced industrial human-robot interaction. Thus, this work aims to systematically update, develop, and validate guidelines to assist non-experts in the early stages of the design of anthropocentric and collaborative assembly applications by focusing on the main features that have positively influenced workers' cognitive responses. A methodology for structured development has been proposed. The draft guidelines have been created starting from the outcomes of a systematic and extended screening of the scientific literature. Preliminary validation has been carried out with the help of researchers working in the field. Inputs on comprehensibility and relevance have been gathered to enhance the guidelines. Lastly, a survey was used to examine in depth how international experts in different branches can interpret such guidelines. In total, 108 responders were asked to qualitatively and quantitatively evaluate the guideline's comprehensibility and provide general comments or suggestions for each guideline. Based on the survey's results, the guidelines have been validated and some have been reviewed and re-written in their final form. The present work highlights that integrating human factors into the design of collaborative applications can significantly bolster manufacturing operations' resilience through inclusivity and system adaptability by enhancing worker safety, ergonomics, and wellbeing.

Keywords: Cognitive ergonomics; Collaborative robotics; Human-centred design; Human-robot interaction; Industry 5.0.

MeSH terms

  • Ergonomics / methods
  • Humans
  • Industry
  • Robotics*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires