MZimmer_UKRAS_Chatbot_Revised.pdf (585.64 kB)

Towards human-chatbot interaction: a virtual assistant for the ramp-up process

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conference contribution
posted on 09.04.2020, 09:03 by Melanie Zimmer, Ali Al-Yacoub, Pedro Ferreira, Niels Lohse
Nowadays, we are surrounded by virtual assistants in everyday life. But one domain that is assumed to massively benefit from virtual assistants, is manufacturing. In particular, where activities are reliant on human expertise and knowledge, a virtual assistant could help support the human. The vision of this work is inspired by the need for bringing an assembly system more rapidly to an operational state. To achieve this vision, a decision-support framework that aims to better integrate the human operator into the ramp-up activity is proposed. As part of this framework, natural language processing tools are applied to allow the development of a virtual assistant for the ramp-up process. This paper provides an overview of the current work in progress, which is part of a PhD research undertaken at the Intelligent Automation Centre at Loughborough University. It outlines the initial efforts and future steps that have been completed and are planned.


EPSRC CDT - Embedded Intelligence - Holding account : EP/L014998/1

The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 680735, project openMOS (Open Dynamic Manufacturing Operating System for Smart Plug-and-Produce Automation Components).



  • Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering

Published in

UKRAS20 Conference: “Robots into the real world” Proceedings


108 - 110


UKRAS20 Conference


EPSRC UK-Robotics and Autonomous Systems (UK-RAS) Network


AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Publisher statement

This paper was accepted for publication in the UKRAS20 Conference: “Robots into the real world” Proceedings and the definitive published version is available at

Acceptance date


Publication date



In response to the ongoing Covid-19 outbreak, the conference was held virtually.




University of Lincoln (virtual)

Event dates

17th April 2020 - 17th April 2020


Miss Melanie Zimmer. Deposit date: 7 April 2020