Sign In

Communications of the ACM

ACM Careers

Assembly Line Robot Predicts Co-Workers' Intentions

'mind-reading' robot and volunteer in a product assembly experiment

The "mind-reading" robot works with a volunteer in a product assembly experiment.

Credit: Dong Yuanfa / Three Gorges University

A team of scientists from Three Gorges University in China claim to have built an industrial robot that can read co-workers' intentions with 96% accuracy by monitoring brain waves and muscle activity.

The robot was tested at an assembly factory, where it worked seamlessly together with human workers to assemble a complex product. The work is described in the Chinese Journal of Mechanical Engineering.

Eight factory workers subject the robot to "hundreds of hours of training" to pick up and deliver a needed item.

Signal intensity was an issue. Although the brainwave detector understood the volunteers' intentions with up to 70% accuracy, the signal was relatively weak and the workers had to "focus hard" for the robot to receive a clear message. It was an intense and exhausting process.

Electrical signals from the muscles collected by sensors on arms were more stable. But as the workers became tired, muscle readings became less reliable. The combination of brain and muscle signals improved accuracy.

From OpenGov Asia
View Full Article


No entries found