Virtual reality in manufacturing: immersive and collaborative artificial-reality in design of human-robot workspace

Ali Ahmad Malik, Tariq Masood, Arne Bilberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

105 Citations (Scopus)
75 Downloads (Pure)


Over the past years, the concept of human-machine interaction has received ample attention to achieve hybrid automation in manufacturing. A form of hybrid automation is taking benefit from the synergistic effect of human-robot collaboration. When used in assembly, the requirement of flexibility, adaptability and safety makes the design and redesign of human-robot collaborative (HRC) systems a complex and prone to error process. The use of time-based continuous simulations can offer safe virtual space for testing and validation thus easing the design of complex HRC systems. However, conventional simulations don’t allow to experience the future production system as an end-user in an immersive environment. This paper explores the technological development in virtual reality (VR) for design of human-centred production systems and develops a unified framework to integrate human-robot simulation with VR. The simulation as an event-driven simulation helped in estimating the human-robot cycle times, developing process-plan, layout optimisation and robot control program. The same simulation is used in VR to interact with the production equipment and particularly with the robot. Additionally, AWS Sumerian environment is used to create a virtual robot to assist VR user in the design process.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)22-37
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Computer Integrated Manufacturing
Issue number1
Early online date26 Nov 2019
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2020


  • cobot
  • digital twin
  • human-robot collaboration
  • Simulation
  • virtual reality
  • VR


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