ADAPTIVE ENVIRONMENTS AND CONVERSATIONAL AGENT BASED APPROACHES FOR HEALTHY AGEING AND WORK ABILITY
Founded By: European Union – HORIZON2020 – SOCIETAL CHALLENGES – Health, demographic change and well-being; GA ID. 826266
Start date: 1 Dec. 2018 End date: 31 May 2022
Grant: € 3.993.616,25
Partners: University of Helsinki, Innovation Sprint, University of Trento, Human Inspired Technology (HIT) Research Centre (University of Padova), IDEGO SRL, BNP SRL, AALTO University, Etsimo Healthcare, ELECTROLUX ITALIA SPA
HTLab Involved People: Luciano Gamberini, Anna Spagnolli, Patrik Pluchino, Valeria Orso, Chiara Rossato
The CO-ADAPT project has implemented various actions with a shared objective: supporting senior workers (> 50 years old) in maintaining optimal work performance while considering aspects such as job satisfaction and workability. Additionally, non-work-related elements (e.g., sleep quality) have been evaluated to analyze the known spill-over effects of work on non-work life and vice versa.
Specifically, the HTlab team has focused on the design and development, in collaboration with the corporate partner BNP SRL, of an advanced workstation equipped with a collaborative robotic (cobot) arm based on information gathered through participatory design activities involving senior workers, human- computer interaction (HCI) and work psychology experts, and corporate professionals. This workstation and collaborative robot were then tested with adult and senior operators in a series of experiments, including the completion of semi-ecological assembly tasks and evaluations of usability, acceptance, attitudes toward these technologies, and the overall user experience (e.g., job satisfaction).
Additionally, during the pandemic, a virtual prototype of the same workstation was created, and experimentations involving adult and senior workers were conducted in this virtual environment. Finally, the HTlab team developed a psychophysiological algorithm based on eye behavior and cardiac activity monitored with non-invasive wearable devices. Trials were conducted to assess the efficiency of this algorithm in detecting conditions of stress, cognitive overload, and mental fatigue considering experimental paradigms with high complexity (i.e., dual task) with the possibility of activating adaptive features of the workstation and cobot aimed at supporting struggling workers.
In general, experiments findings highlighted a high degree of acceptance and perceived usability of cobots, even among senior groups of operators. Besides, work performance can be supported through specific adjustments in the functioning of these state-of-the-art technologies, and operators reported positive and satisfying interactions with these work tools.
Nenna, F., Orso, V., Zanardi, D., & Gamberini, L. (2023). The virtualization of human–robot interactions: A user-centric workload assessment. Virtual Reality, 27(2), 553-571.
Faccio, M., Granata, I., Menini, A., Milanese, M., Rossato, C., Bottin, M., Minto, R., Pluchino, P., Gamberini, L., Boschetti, G., & Rosati, G. (2023). Human factors in cobot era: A review of modern production systems features. Journal of Intelligent Manufacturing, 34(1), 85-106.
Rossato, C., Pluchino, P., Cellini, N., Jacucci, G., Spagnolli, A., & Gamberini, L. (2021). Facing with collaborative robots: The subjective experience in senior and younger workers. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, 24(5), 349-356.
Rossato, C., Orso, V., Pluchino, P., & Gamberini, L. (2021, April). Adaptive Assembly Workstations and Cobots: A qualitative assessment involving senior and adult workers. In Proceedings of the 32nd European Conference on Cognitive Ergonomics (pp. 1-5).
Mingardi, M., Pluchino, P., Bacchin, D., Rossato, C., & Gamberini, L. (2020). Assessment of implicit and explicit measures of mental workload in working situations: implications for industry 4.0. Applied Sciences, 10(18), 6416.
Pluchino, P., Mingardi, M, Barattini, R., Ragazzon, A., Pettenon, C., & Gamberini, L. (2019). Assessing cognitive workload and mental fatigue in the context of human-robot collaboration: a comparison between different metrics. 19th EAWOP Congress (Torino, Italia).
Gamberini, L., Pluchino, P., Spagnolli, A., Orso, V., Jacucci, G. (2019). CO- ADAPT: designing an adaptive and accessible 4.0 working environment for the older employees’ needs. 19th EAWOP Congress (Torino, Italia).
Pluchino, P., Orso, V., Jacucci, G., &, Gamberini, L. (2019). Supporting aging workers through an adaptive assembly workstation. In CHI2019, workshop The Future of Work.