Abstract The manufacturing industry has high expectations for the benefits of collaborative robots. The term collaborative robots, however, encompasses multiple levels of collaboration ranging from coexistence to joint object manipulation. We attempt to refine the levels of collaboration between human workers and collaborative robots by reviewing literature and using case study examples. Distinguishing between the different levels is important because of the requisite safety issues and for the purpose of designing and evaluating the worker aspects of human-robot interaction, e.g., acceptance and workflow. This work facilitates finding the best ways to implement future human-robot collaboration on the factory floor.
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