This article presents a hybrid cell for human-robot collaboration (HRC) in flexible light assembly in manufacturing and investigates the effects of the robot’s dynamic affections on human-robot interactions (HRI) and assembly performance. We develop a one human-one robot hybrid cell using a humanoid robot with affection display ability where the human and the robot collaborate to assemble few parts into a final product. Based on an optimization strategy, the assembly subtasks are optimally allocated between the human and the robot. We determine a computational dynamics model of the robot’s affections for various situations associated with the assembly. Taking inspiration from the affection dynamics, we develop an affection-based motion control strategy for the robot so that the robot can dynamically adjust its affective expressions with task situations. We develop a comprehensive evaluation scheme to evaluate HRI and assembly performance in two different conditions of the robot: (i) the robot displays affections in its face dynamically with assembly task situations, (ii) the robot does not display affection. The results show that the motion control of the robot with dynamic affective expressions produce significantly better HRI and assembly performance than that produced by the motion control of the robot with no affective expression.

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