Cobot Programming for Collaborative Industrial Tasks: An Overview

Shirine El Zaatari, Mohamed Marei, Weidong Li, Zahid Usman

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    110 Citations (Scopus)
    401 Downloads (Pure)


    Collaborative robots (cobots) have been increasingly adopted in industries to facilitate human-robot collaboration. Despite this, it is challenging to program cobots for collaborative industrial tasks as the programming has two distinct elements that are difficult to implement: (1) an intuitive element to ensure that the operations of a cobot can be composed or altered dynamically by an operator, and (2) a human-aware element to support cobots in producing flexible and adaptive behaviours dependent on human partners. In this area, some research works have been carried out recently, but there is a lack of a systematic summary on the subject. In this paper, an overview of collaborative industrial scenarios and programming requirements for cobots to implement effective collaboration is given. Then, detailed reviews on cobot programming, which are categorised into communication, optimisation, and learning, are conducted. Additionally, a significant gap between cobot programming implemented in industry and in research is identified, and research that works towards bridging this gap is pinpointed. Finally, the future directions of cobots for industrial collaborative scenarios are outlined, including potential points of extension and improvement.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)162-180
    Number of pages19
    JournalRobotics and Autonomous Systems
    Early online date18 Mar 2019
    Publication statusPublished - Jun 2019


    • Cobot
    • Human-awareness
    • Human–robot collaboration
    • Intuitive programming

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Software
    • Control and Systems Engineering
    • Mathematics(all)
    • Computer Science Applications


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