The ongoing trend towards Industry 4.0 has revolutionised ordinary workplaces, profoundly changing the role played by humans in the production chain. Research on ergonomics in industrial settings mainly focuses on reducing the operator's physical fatigue and discomfort to improve throughput and avoid safety hazards. However, as the production complexity increases, the cognitive resources demand and mental workload could compromise the operator's performance and the efficiency of the shop floor workplace. State-of-the-art methods in cognitive science work offline and/or involve bulky equipment hardly deployable in industrial settings. This paper presents a novel method for online assessment of cognitive load in manufacturing, primarily assembly, by detecting patterns in human motion directly from the input images of a stereo camera. Head pose estimation and skeleton tracking are exploited to investigate the workers' attention and assess hyperactivity and unforeseen movements. Pilot experiments suggest that our factor assessment tool provides significant insights into workers' mental workload, even confirmed by correlations with physiological and performance measurements. According to data gathered in this study, a vision-based cognitive load assessment has the potential to be integrated into the development of mechatronic systems for improving cognitive ergonomics in manufacturing.

An Online Framework for Cognitive Load Assessment in Industrial Tasks

Marta Lagomarsino;Marta Lorenzini;Elena De Momi;Arash Ajoudani
2022-01-01

Abstract

The ongoing trend towards Industry 4.0 has revolutionised ordinary workplaces, profoundly changing the role played by humans in the production chain. Research on ergonomics in industrial settings mainly focuses on reducing the operator's physical fatigue and discomfort to improve throughput and avoid safety hazards. However, as the production complexity increases, the cognitive resources demand and mental workload could compromise the operator's performance and the efficiency of the shop floor workplace. State-of-the-art methods in cognitive science work offline and/or involve bulky equipment hardly deployable in industrial settings. This paper presents a novel method for online assessment of cognitive load in manufacturing, primarily assembly, by detecting patterns in human motion directly from the input images of a stereo camera. Head pose estimation and skeleton tracking are exploited to investigate the workers' attention and assess hyperactivity and unforeseen movements. Pilot experiments suggest that our factor assessment tool provides significant insights into workers' mental workload, even confirmed by correlations with physiological and performance measurements. According to data gathered in this study, a vision-based cognitive load assessment has the potential to be integrated into the development of mechatronic systems for improving cognitive ergonomics in manufacturing.
2022
Cognitive ergonomics
Cognitive manufacturing
Attention estimation
Stress detection
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11311/1216433
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