Human-robot collaboration in industrial environments: A literature review on non-destructive disassembly

Sebastian Hjorth*, Dimitrios Chrysostomou

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)
98 Downloads (Pure)


Nowadays, numerous companies and industries introduce recycling processes in their production, aiming to increase the sustainable use of the planet’s natural resources. Nevertheless, these processes remain inefficient due to the high degree of complexity and variation in the products. In order to remedy this, industry stakeholders adopt the circular economy business model and introduce take-back programmes and remanufacturing processes for their End of Life products in their own supply chains. Take-back programmes enable the re-sourcing of sub-assemblies and components of previously manufactured products while remanufacturing processes encourage non-destructive disassembly. Due to the uncertain conditions of the re-sourced products, fully automated cells cannot cope with the demanding disassembly processes. Therefore, there is a need to establish hybrid disassembly robot cells where humans and robots work closely together in a process known as human–robot collaborative disassembly (HRCD). This paper examines the landscape of HRCD and reviews the progress in the field during the period 2009–2020. The analysis investigates principles and elements of human–robot collaboration in industrial environments such as safety standards and collaborative operation modes, HRI communication interfaces, and the design characteristics of a disassembly process. Additionally, the various technical challenges of HRCD are explored, and a review of existing systems supporting HRCD is presented. This review aims to support the robotics community in the future development of HRCD systems, discuss identified literature gaps, and suggest future research directions in this area.
Original languageEnglish
Article number102208
JournalRobotics and Computer-Integrated Manufacturing
Number of pages18
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Human–robot collaboration
  • Circular economy
  • Human–robot collaborative disassembly
  • Sustainable manufacturing
  • Industrial manipulators


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