Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Mechanical Engineering

Committee Member

Yue Wang, Committee Chair

Committee Member

Kapil Chalil Madathil

Committee Member

Ian D. Walker

Committee Member

John R. Wagner

Committee Member

Ardalan Vahidi


Human-robot interaction (HRI) is vastly addressed in the field of automation and manufacturing. Most of the HRI literature in manufacturing explored physical human-robot interaction (pHRI) and invested in finding means for ensuring safety and optimized effort sharing amongst a team of humans and robots. The recent emergence of safe, lightweight, and human-friendly robots has opened a new realm for human-robot collaboration (HRC) in collaborative manufacturing. For such robots with the new HRI functionalities to interact closely and effectively with a human coworker, new human-centered controllers that integrate both physical and social interaction are demanded. Social human-robot interaction (sHRI) has been demonstrated in robots with affective abilities in education, social services, health care, and entertainment. Nonetheless, sHRI should not be limited only to those areas. In particular, we focus on human trust in robot as a basis of social interaction. Human trust in robot and robot anthropomorphic features have high impacts on sHRI. Trust is one of the key factors in sHRI and a prerequisite for effective HRC. Trust characterizes the reliance and tendency of human in using robots. Factors within a robotic system (e.g. performance, reliability, or attribute), the task, and the surrounding environment can all impact the trust dynamically. Over-reliance or under-reliance might occur due to improper trust, which results in poor team collaboration, and hence higher task load and lower overall task performance. The goal of this dissertation is to develop intelligent control algorithms for the manipulator robots that integrate both physical and social HRI factors in the collaborative manufacturing. First, the evolution of human trust in a collaborative robot model is identified and verified through a series of human-in-the-loop experiments. This model serves as a computational trust model estimating an objective criterion for the evolution of human trust in robot rather than estimating an individual's actual level of trust. Second, an HRI-based framework is developed for controlling the speed of a robot performing pick and place tasks. The impact of the consideration of the different level of interaction in the robot controller on the overall efficiency and HRI criteria such as human perceived workload and trust and robot usability is studied using a series of human-in-the-loop experiments. Third, an HRI-based framework is developed for planning and controlling the robot motion in performing hand-over tasks to the human. Again, series of human-in-the-loop experimental studies are conducted to evaluate the impact of implementation of the frameworks on overall efficiency and HRI criteria such as human workload and trust and robot usability. Finally, another framework is proposed for the cooperative manipulation of a common object by a team of a human and a robot. This framework proposes a trust-based role allocation strategy for adjusting the proactive behavior of the robot performing a cooperative manipulation task in HRC scenarios. For the mentioned frameworks, the results of the experiments show that integrating HRI in the robot controller leads to a lower human workload while it maintains a threshold level of human trust in robot and does not degrade robot usability and efficiency.



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