Human-cobot Teams: Exploring Design Principles and Behaviour Models to Facilitate the Understanding of Non-verbal Communication from Cobots

Marijke Bergman, Elsbeth de Joode, Marijke de Geus, Janienke Sturm


Now that collaborative robots are becoming more widespread in industry, the question arises how we can make them better co-workers and team members. Team members cooperate and collaborate to attain common goals. Consequently they provide and receive information, often non-linguistic, necessary to accomplish the work at hand and coordinate their activities. The cooperative behaviour needed to function as a team also entails that team members have to develop a certain level of trust towards each other. In this paper we argue that for cobots to become trusted, successful co-workers in an industrial setting we need to develop design principles for cobot behaviour to provide legible, that is understandable, information and to generate trust. Furthermore, we are of the opinion that modelling such non-verbal cobot behaviour after animal co-workers may provide useful opportunities, even though additional communication may be needed for optimal collaboration.


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