HUMAN FACTOR IN
SMART MANUFACTURING LAB
The laboratory enables conducting experimental research focused on the human factor in Industry 4.0 and 5.0, considering the interaction with an advanced workstation equipped
with a collaborative robot (cobot, UR10e; Universal Robots A/S©). These studies encompass variables related to the worker (e.g., well-being, satisfaction) and work performance, considering both adult and senior operators (> 50/55 years). Besides, the laboratory is equipped with various state-of-the-art wearable devices (e.g., several eye-tracking glasses for ocular behavior recording, Pupil Labs GmbH©; a portable amplifier and surface sensors for monitoring cardiac, electrodermal, and electromyographic activities, Thought Technology Ltd.©) to infer the level of stress and mental overload experienced by individuals during the execution of specific experimental tasks. Lastly, this laboratory incorporates an algorithm based on psychophysiological indices, capable of identifying stress and mental overload conditions and automatically implementing changes to the operating of the workstation and cobot.
HEALTH, E-HEALTH, AND
In this research space, studies are conducted concerning the design/re-design and development of software and hardware technologies involving end-users and stakeholders. Among the research projects conducted within this laboratory, we include evaluations of:
● Prototypes of e-health applications to support patients with chronic disorders in adhering to clinical protocols. These applications incorporate strategies for behavioral change through conversational agents and elements of gamification integrated into the software (PatchAi®).
● Control interfaces for devices linked to hospital beds (Malvestio©), aiming to assess usability complexity and accessibility, considering both patients and caregivers.
● Protocols for presenting short videos using low-cost virtual reality devices to provide psychological support (e.g., reducing perceived pain, depression, anxiety) to oncology patients.
Besides, the research group’s expertise in quantitative methodologies (e.g., accuracy and task completion time; self-report measures such as questionnaires and ad hoc checklists; analysis of behavioral and psychophysiological responses, including heart rate frequency and eye-tracking) and qualitative methodologies (e.g., interviews, focus groups, affinity diagrams) allows for the creation of experiments aimed at evaluating user experience, usability, accessibility, and inclusivity of the technologies.
DIGITAL MARKETING AND NEUROMARKETING LAB
This laboratory enables conducting ecological marketing and neuromarketing studies to investigate implicit (spontaneous) and explicit (self-report evaluations) reactions of users interacting with various stimuli and/or products. Indeed, thanks to various software and hardware tools, it is possible, for example, to automatically recognize the experienced emotions and the level of activation (arousal) of individuals (Face Reader; Noldus Information Technology©). Additionally, it facilitates implementing experiments to analyze consumer purchasing behavior and desires, as well as identifying new ways of presenting information (augmented reality using a Hololens head-mounted display; Microsoft©) in research that analyzes the exploration of physical and virtual products, wherein the most relevant information can be manipulated through virtual augmentations. In this latter case, hybrid environments are created, where physical and virtual stimuli are combined.
UX EVALUATION AND
USER STUDIES LAB
The Ux Evaluation and User Studies laboratory evaluates several aspects of user experience, including usability, accessibility, acceptance, engagement, and overall experience quality. In the research conducted in this laboratory, various methods are employed, such as questionnaires, expert checklists, cognitive walkthroughs, task analysis, and naturalistic observation. These methods are integrated to form a mixed methodological approach that adapts to the specific case under investigation.
The laboratory is equipped with an Audio/Video monitoring system, consisting of PTZ (Pan- Tilt-Zoom) VHD cameras from Value HD Corporation and omnidirectional ceiling microphones (SENNHEISER MEB-102W). The entire system is controlled from a dedicated control room using a VHD controller and a PC running VMIX HD edition software. Additionally, the laboratory has multiple cameras that enable video recording of user interactions in the field (GoPro HERO 9) and video file editing (Final Cut X).
Furthermore, advanced software tools are available for the systematic and structured analysis of explicit user behaviors, such as The Observer XT from Noldus Information Technology©. These resources ensure comprehensive and detailed assessments of user experiences and interactions with various technologies and products.
The inauguration of this new facility within the advanced laboratories of HTLab signifies a milestone in the realms of design, technological innovation, and creative ingenuity. Within the distinguished milieu of the HTLab Fab Lab, state-of-the-art equipment takes center stage, prominently featuring a cutting-edge 3D printer specifically tailored for advanced prototyping. Furthermore, our advanced cutting plotter boasts an exceptional range of capabilities, facilitating the processing of a diverse spectrum of over 150 materials. In our unwavering commitment to accommodating a multitude of needs, we proudly offer a trio of state-of-the-art heat presses, enabling the customization of more than 50 varieties of media, encompassing everything from apparel to beverage containers, plaques, and beyond. HTLab’s Fab Lab stands as the quintessential destination for transforming the boundless realm of imagination into tangible reality.