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Kosch, Thomas; Karolus, Jakob; Ha, Havy and Schmidt, Albrecht (2019): Your Skin Resists: Exploring Electrodermal Activity as Workload Indicator during Manual Assembly. In: Proceedings of the Acm Sigchi Symposium on Engineering Interactive Computing Systems (Eics'19)

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Production lines are increasingly defined by smaller lot sizes that require workers to memorize frequent changes of assembly instructions. Previous research reports positive results of using assistive systems that compensate increments of work-load by providing "just-in-time" instructions. However, there is rare evidence to which degree workload is alleviated by using assistive technologies. This work explores the potential of electrodermal activity (EDA) as a real-time monitoring tool for workload that is placed by two different assistive systems during manual assembly. In a preliminary user study (N=18), participants were induced with temporal and mental workload while conducting an assembly task with two different assistive systems: paper instructions and in-situ projections. Our preliminary findings indicate that EDA measures and working performance correlate to workload levels when using both assembly systems. Based on our results, we discuss future research in the area of smart factories that implicitly evaluate workload through EDA in real-time to adapt assistive technologies at workplaces individually during manual assembly.

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