Human factors in cyber-physical production systems

The factories of the future will be equipped with a growing number of cyber-physical systems. There is a big potential resulting: fast transmission and refreshing of information and more and more automated tasks can increase performance and quality of the manufacturing process. This potential can be created by evolving existing production resources by adding cyber-physical functions. Further, cyber-physical assistance systems, robots or augmented reality will be integrated into the factories.
Regardless of the increasing level of computerization the humans will still play a very important role in the future. Because of economic boundaries and automatability barriers but also because of the unique human abilities the future cyber-physical production systems will consist of both humans and machines. Therefore, the success of the cyber-physical production systems will depend on a human-oriented design of its numerous human-machine interfaces.

Figure: Human-machine-interfaces in a cyber-physical production system

The research of the working group hence focuses on the human factor in cyber-physical production systems. The primary goal is a description, analysis and prognosis of effects resulting of the interaction of humans and cyber-physical elements. The findings shall be transferred into design guidelines for human-machine interfaces in cyber-physical production systems.
Further we are interested in the following research questions:
  • How do humans perceive their new role?
  • Do humans accept the AI decisions?
  • How does their interaction with the system affect its function?

Selected Publications

  • Till Becker and Hendrik Stern (2016). Future trends in human work area design. Procedia CIRP. 49th CIRP Conference on Manufacturing Systems - CMS 2016¬†[in print] [BibTex]