Conceptualizing Embodied Automation to Increase Transfer of Tacit knowledge in the Learning Factory
Paper in proceedings, 2018
This paper will discuss how cooperative agent-based systems, deployed with social skills and embodied automation features, can be used to interact with the operators in order to facilitate sharing of tacit knowledge and its later conversion into explicit knowledge. The proposal is to combine social software robots (softbots) with industrial collaborative robots (co-bots) to create a digital apprentice for experienced operators in human-robot collaboration workstations. This is to address the problem within industry that experienced operators have difficulties in explaining how they perform their tasks and later, how to turn this procedural knowledge (knowhow) into instructions to be shared among other operators. By using social softbots and co-bots, as cooperative agents with embodied automation features, we think we can facilitate the 'externalization' of procedural knowledge in human-robot interaction(s). This enabled by the capabilities of social cooperative agents with embodied automation features of continuously learning by looking over the shoulder of the operators, and documenting and collaborating with them in a non-intrusive way as they perform their daily tasks.