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Front. Robot. AI
Sec. Human-Robot Interaction
Volume 10 - 2023 | doi: 10.3389/frobt.2023.1271673

HMI Design Matrix: how to design user-centered HMIs for industrial HRI scenarios

  • 1Department of Sciences and Methods for Engineering, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Italy
  • 2Department Engineering “Enzo Ferrari”, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Italy

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Human-Machine Interfaces (HMIs) assume a crucial role in Human-Robot Interaction (HRI) scenarios, as they are responsible for interactions with the systems and communications between the human agents and the machines. Many types of HMI exist, each of them offering a different User eXperience (UX), impacting the human mental workload, as well as tasks performance. For a successful HRI, it is essential to meticulously design HMIs, beginning with the selection of the appropriate HMI type, considering both the user requirements and the specific interaction scenario conditions. Despite this, the HMI selection and design, especially in industry, is mainly guided by technological aspects, with the risk of compromising the interaction and performance quality. An inaccurate HMI choice could have dangerous consequences on human safety and general wellbeing; therefore, human factors can no longer be viewed as an additional factor to consider after technological ones. To avoid this, a usercentric approach should be adopted to include a greater consideration of the users' needs during the interaction with a robot. To this purpose, this work proposes the HMI Design Matrix as a novel structured tool guiding the design team in the design of industrial HMIs adopting a user-centric approach. In particular, it supports the analysis of the interaction scenario, identifying the design requirements and users' needs to choose and properly design the most appropriate HMI. Then three industrial use cases are proposed as demonstration of the HMI Design Matrix application and preliminary validation of its efficacy. This research serves as a fundamental step in bringing UX design principles into the HRI domain, spreading and simplifying access to user-centered practices for HRI design.

Keywords: human-machine interface, human-robot interaction, Human-robot collaboration, user-centered design, User Experience, human factors, Industry 5.0

Received: 02 Aug 2023; Accepted: 14 Sep 2023.

Copyright: © 2023 Prati and Peruzzini. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: PhD. Elisa Prati, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Department of Sciences and Methods for Engineering, Modena, 41121, Emilia-Romagna, Italy