Small lot sizes in modern manufacturing present new challenges for people doing manual assembly tasks. Assistive systems, including context-aware instruction systems and collaborative robots, can support people to manage the increased flexibility, while also reducing the number of errors. Although there has been much research in this area, these solutions are not yet widespread in companies. This paper aims to give a better understanding of the strengths and limitations of the different technologies with respect to their practical implementation in companies, both to give insight into which technologies can be used in practice and to suggest directions for future research. The paper gives an overview of the state of the art and then describes new technological solutions designed for companies to illustrate the current status and future needs. The information provided demonstrates that, although a lot of technologies are currently being investigated and discussed, many of them are not yet at a level that they can be implemented in practice.
- intelligent assistive systems
- mixed reality
- collaborative robots
- manual assembly
- human robot interaction