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  1. 1. Exploring interaction design opportunities for remote robotic services Cecilia Boström & Varuna Mudumby
  2. 2. Introducing ABB’s MyRobot *ABB MyRobot served as our design case
  3. 3. ABB advertising MyRobot: “ABB Robotics offers customers a powerful and truly versatile tool to help keep their operations running”
  4. 4. ABB advertising MyRobot: “...filled with exciting features, including excellent portability for multiple platform usage, a versatile dashboard with fast and detailed information plus powerful filtering tools”
  5. 5. So what does that mean? ...and is it really what the users want?
  6. 6. “What are critical aspects for a successful remote robotic service, from an interaction design perspective?” Research question:
  7. 7. Design goal: Provide a remote service tool that meets real user needs based on research and evaluation of data
  8. 8. Then, how do remote robotic services work in the field? We had to find out ourselves!
  9. 9. Interviews: Robotics Customers Company Number of interviewees Role of interviewees Number of robots Main robot brand Interview time ALLARD International (Malmö) 1 Service engineer 2 ABB 45 min Pågen (Malmö) 1 Chief of Distribution 14 KUKA 1,5 h SKF (Göteborg) 1 Robot technician 50 ABB 1,5 h Volvo Trucks (Skövde) 2 Manager of Maintenance Development & EEM; Robot technician 200 ABB 1,5 h
  10. 10. Robots are caged and dangerous
  11. 11. Observations Sawdust Oilspill Packets falling Male dominance Workers wear gloves Loud noises Fast moving trucks
  12. 12. Interviews: Robotics Manufacturers Company Number of Interviewees Role of interviewees Interview time ABB Robotics 1 Product Manager 30 min ABB Robotics 1 Technology Manager 30 min ABB Robotics 2 R&D Manager; Software Developer 1 h KUKA Robotics 1 Director Automotive 1,5 h
  13. 13. Transcribing We transcribed recordings of 8h 30m to get valuable requirements and to understand the users’ perspective better + real quotes
  14. 14. Requirement formulation Notable quotes were cut into strips to be arranged into groups for further analysis
  15. 15. Requirement analysis The groups of quotes were categorized on the wall and analyzed
  16. 16. Findings: Plant Environment “You are not allowed to walk and talk on phones, if you see someone stop them.” -Volvo Trucks A key selling point of MyRobot is that it’s designed to work in phones
  17. 17. Findings MyRobot “We don’t really know who is the typical user. We haven’t done any benchmarking on it, so we don’t really know” - ABB MyRobot Developers Interaction Design helped finding the most common user which is: Robot Maintenance Technicians
  18. 18. Findings MyRobot “MyRobot will be good when it works” - SKF MyRobot has potential, but does not meet user requirements and needs. These were however identified using IxD-methods
  19. 19. Findings MyRobot “ get deeper and deeper in the system to see what you want and when you get down, you forgot what you want to see” - SKF It was discovered that the sitemap structure of MyRobot is too complex
  20. 20. Findings Competitor “the market is conservative… it is really difficult to convince the customer the beauty of having this [remote service]” - KUKA Problems occur in communicating the benefits of robotic remote services
  21. 21. Brainstorming 100 ideas Fast! (in less than one hour) We did not want to constrain our solution to solely on the empirical data Brainstorming helped spark innovation
  22. 22. Requirements Analysis + New Ideas = Design Requirements Specification
  23. 23. The Pythia Concept To predict events that aid in proactive decision making *Pythia is originally the name for the oracle in Delphi, ancient Greece
  24. 24. To form a visual design from the elicited requirements, we turned to pen & paper The Pythia Concept visualized
  25. 25. Prototyping Quick and dirty paper prototypes for fast iterations
  26. 26. Internal user tests New perspective was gained from testing the prototypes with a thesis peer group and ABB software developers As the prototypes were in paper, changes were easy to make
  27. 27. Pythia after the first tests: Includes all vital information in one portal - Alarms, robot details, backup, service history, e-commerce and stock info for spare parts Uses simple customizable table overviews Acts as one stand alone application
  28. 28. Pythia mockup start page iteration 1
  29. 29. External user tests SKF Wants: ● Everything (service history, spare parts, alarms etc.) connected to a specific robot ● Detailed information of all robots for an overview ● An overview of alarms in the home page ● No graphics that consume valuable screen space
  30. 30. External user tests Allard “I think it [the prototype] looks good except for some minor things. Can one have two servers in a backup? Can one change the interval of the backup?”
  31. 31. External user tests Pågen "It maybe looks a bit too theoretical for our business, but it probably works fine in other organizations" Pythia may not be beneficial for Pågen as they don’t have robot maintenance staff
  32. 32. External user tests Volvo Trucks "I think [Pythia] gives a good picture over the facility and I like the heading 'predictions' even if it doesn't look like it's going to be used that way?" It was revealed that the term predictions needs a clear definition
  33. 33. Pythia mockup start page iteration 2
  34. 34. Future work Iterate the mockups from the feedback Find a better way to organize alarms Solve the issue with spare parts
  35. 35. Interaction Design helped identify: Work hierarchies and widespread distribution of employees within robotic manufacturers complicate design work Lack of user research makes it impossible to identify actual users and their needs Vital user activities can be left concealed if they are not observed
  36. 36. For further information: Varuna Mudumby @asusual_unusual Cecilia Boström @ciatherese