Integrating Human Operators into Agent-based Manufacturing Systems: A Table-top Demonstration

Gary Zheng, Ilya Kovalenko, Kira Barton, Dawn Tilbury

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


To stay competitive in the modern market, manufacturing systems must be adaptable and flexible to deal with challenges such as machine breakdowns or requests for new, customized products. A strategy proposed to improve system flexibility is the integration of multi-agent control on the plant floor. The multi-agent control strategy consists of a system of distributed agents (e.g. resource agents, product agents) that are responsible for controlling various parts of the manufacturing system through cooperation. While previous Multi-Agent Systems (MAS) implementations have proposed architectures for resource and product agents, they do not specify how human workers can be integrated to improve system flexibility. This work specifies a Human Resource Agent (HRA) architecture that can be integrated into a manufacturing system with a multi-agent control strategy. The proposed architecture is demonstrated using a table-top manufacturing testbed showcasing the flexibility the HRA can add to a manufacturing system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)326-333
Number of pages8
JournalProcedia Manufacturing
StatePublished - 2018
Event28th International Conference on Flexible Automation and Intelligent Manufacturing, FAIM 2018 - Columbus, United States
Duration: Jun 11 2018Jun 14 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
  • Artificial Intelligence


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