Article by George Charalambous, Sarah Fletcher and Philip Webb.
Published in International Journal of Social Robotics.
Trust has been identified as a key element for the successful cooperation between humans and robots. However, little research has been directed at understanding trust development in industrial human-robot collaboration (HRC). With industrial robots becoming increasingly integrated into production lines as a means for enhancing productivity and quality, it will not be long before close proximity industrial HRC becomes a viable concept. Since trust is a multidimensional construct and heavily dependent on the context, it is vital to understand how trust develops when shop floor workers interact with industrial robots. To this end, in this study a trust measurement scale suitable for industrial HRC was developed in two phases. In phase one, an exploratory study was conducted to collect participants’ opinions qualitatively. This led to the identification of trust related themes relevant to the industrial context and a related pool of questionnaire items was generated. In the second phase, three human-robot trials were carried out in which the questionnaire items were applied to participants using three different types of industrial robots. The results were statistically analysed to identify the key factors impacting trust and from these generate a trust measurement scale for industrial HRC.