WeBuild: Automatically Distributing Assembly Tasks Among Collocated Workers to Improve Coordination

ACM SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
2017

WeBuild: Automatically Distributing Assembly Tasks Among Collocated Workers to Improve Coordination (3:39 min.)

Abstract

Physical construction and assembly tasks are often carried out by groups of collocated workers, and they can be difficult to coordinate. Group members must spend time deciding how to split up the task, how to assign subtasks to each other, and in what order subtasks should be completed. Informed by an observational study examining group coordination challenges, we built a task distribution system called WeBuild. Our custom algorithm dynamically assigns subtasks to workers in a group, taking into account factors such as the dependencies between subtasks and the skills of each group member. Each worker views personalized step-bystep instructions on a mobile phone, while a dashboard visualizes the entire process. An initial study found that WeBuild reduced the start-up time needed to coordinate and begin a task, and provides direction for future research to build on toward improving group efficiency and coordination for complex tasks.

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