Journal article Open Access
This paper proposes a novel Augmented Hierarchical Quadratic Programming (AHQP) framework for multi-tasking control in Human-Robot Collaboration (HRC) which integrates human-related parameters to optimize ergonomics. The aim is to combine parameters that are typical of both industrial applications (e.g. cycle times, productivity) and human comfort (e.g. ergonomics, preference), to identify an optimal trade-off. The augmentation aspect avoids the dependency from a fixed end-effector reference trajectory, which becomes part of the optimization variables and can be used to define a feasible workspace region in which physical interaction can occur. We then demonstrate that the integration of the proposed AHQP in HRC permits the addition of human ergonomics and preference. To achieve this, we develop a human ergonomics function based on the mapping of an ergonomics score, compatible with AHQP formulation. This allows to identify at control level the optimal Cartesian pose that satisfies the active objectives and constraints, that are now linked to human ergonomics. In addition, we build an adaptive compliance framework that
integrates both aspects of human preferences and intentions, which are finally tested in several collaborative experiments using the redundant MOCA robot. Overall, we achieve improved human ergonomics and health conditions, aiming at the potential reduction of work-related musculoskeletal disorders.