FELICE Update: Designing usable interfaces

When humans and robots are supposed to collaborate, successful communication is an important factor. A key component to such communication is the design of user interfaces. As part of the FELICE project, researchers at IfADo are taking steps to build interfaces which are both very usable and reliable.


Shaping understandable communication between humans and robots for human robot collaboration requires a careful design of the interfaces. This process consists of several different steps, such as a thorough analysis of the task, drafting a conceptual interaction design, and defining task relevant information. For example, as part of the process, IfADo researchers conducted task analyses, interviews and surveys on workers concerns when collaborating with a robot. Additionally, information from small scale evaluation tests at FHOOE (University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria) were considered to examine collaborative interface requirements.

Reliability and Usability

Key to interface design of human robot communication is providing the basis for mutual, reliable understanding. For that the human must be provided with adequate possibilities to communicate with but also retrieve information from the robot. A way to bring reliability in system interactions is to support flexibility in the use of interfaces and redundancy of interfaces in specific task.

This means to not only use visual interface design but especially consider physical and auditory based interaction, for example voice commands. This allows the human to respond in a meaningful and preferably natural manner. Voice commands have the advantage of ensuring a safe space around the worker as well as that the worker can continue with the assembly task. Providing redundant possibilities to communicate also ensures that the workflow is not disrupted in case of failure. Among others, taking these aspects into account, IfADo supports the FELICE partners to ensure reliability and usability in their multi modal interface design.

Scientific contact:
Dr. Yannick Metzler
Scientific staff
Ardeystrasse 67 Dortmund Nordrhein-Westfalen DE 44139
Press contact:
Anne Gregory
Press officer
Ardeystrasse 67 Dortmund Nordrhein-Westfalen DE 44139