NSF CRII: CPS: A Bi-Trust Framework for Collaboration-Quality Improvement in Human-Robot Collaborative Contexts

Project PI: Weitian Wang

Project Duration: July 2021 - June 2024

Project Description:

​Collaborative robots have been widely employed to assist humans in an increasing number of areas. Just as human-human collaboration, the trust in human-robot teams has a property of bidirectional. However, few studies have been conducted on both human-trusting-robot issue and robot-trusting-human issue in a unified framework for human-robot collaboration. The project addresses this challenge by developing a new systematic Bi-Trust framework to integrate humans’ trust in robots and robots’ trust in humans into the human-robot collaboration process. With the established Bi-Trust framework, a trust-level-based computational collaboration model is created to optimize and plan robot actions. The proposed approaches will reduce uncertain failures and improve the collaboration-quality of human-robot shared tasks.

The goal of this project is to develop a systematic Bi-Trust framework for human-robot teams and create new computational models of trust dynamics and trust-level-based collaboration in order to enhance the human-robot partnership. The proposed research activities include: (1) investigating the factors that affect humans’ trust in robots and analyzing humans’ trust using multimodal physical and physiological data; (2) developing a new Bi-Trust framework entailing computational human-trusting-robot model and robot-trusting-human model for human-robot teams and establishing a computational human-robot collaboration model via the trust-local-maximum method; and (3) applying the Bi-Trust framework in real-world human-robot collaborative contexts and assessing its effectiveness. The findings of this project will improve the collaboration-quality for human-robot teams in collaborative contexts such as the new generation of smart manufacturing and potentially benefit the national economic growth by fostering increasing robotics and AI workforce.