Impact of dynamic virtual and real robots on perceived safe waiting time and maximum reach of robot arms

Ng P. P. W., Duffy V. G., Yucel G.

INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF PRODUCTION RESEARCH, vol.50, no.1, pp.161-176, 2012 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier


This research examines perception of dynamic objects and robots in a virtual and real industrial work environment. The studies are modelled after those of Karwowski and Rahimi from the early 1990s. By applying virtual reality technology, the real workplace can be simulated in the virtual world for the improvement of facility design. Perception of hazard and risk, safe waiting time, maximum reach of robot arm are measured related to the impact of parameters such as robot size, speed and type and exposure to a virtual accident. Analysis includes techniques such as sequential experiments to compare results in the virtual and real environments. These methods may be considered as a model for studying perception and transfer in other domains. The comparison of the analysed data in the virtual and real environments helps to further determine the transferability of performance and perception from virtual reality to real. Results show similarity in perceived safe waiting time, but there are large differences in perceived maximum reach of robot arms between the virtual and real environments. Using the preliminary results from the integrated data in the sequential experiments, potential guidelines for using virtual facility layout in industry are discussed.