Social Innovation Aspects of Human-Robot Interaction in Complex Manufacturing Systems

Wednesday, July 16, 2014: 9:00 AM
Room: 415
Oral Presentation
Antonio BRANDAO MONIZ , Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Karlsruhe, Germany
Bettina KRINGS , Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Karlsruhe, Germany
The focus of our paper is the use of robotics in manufacturing industry with respect to its social innovation dimension. One of the aims is to identify relevant research questions about the possibility of development of safer robot systems in closer human-machine intuitive interaction systems at the manufacturing shop-floor level. For example, the augmented reality approach provides major opportunities for human-robot interaction within safer environment. We try to contribute to understand the limits of cognitive and perceptual workload for robot operators in complex working systems. And we envisage increasing the knowledge awareness on the use of robots (as working tools or machines) at the shop-floor level in the manufacturing industry. In particular this issue will be highly relevant when more different robots with different roles and produced by different companies or designers are to be used in the manufacturing to a larger extent. The integration of such different technical systems needs further capacities in technology assessment. The social sciences approach to such assessment is of high relevance to understand the organisational dimensions of the human-robot interaction concept. The technologically dense environments applied to our approach refers to settings in which human actors/robot operators and technological artefacts (robots) work ‘together’ and where working and organizing are inextricably linked to the use of these technologies. Such integrated systems reveal new challenges for the design of work, organisations and also technologies. In most cases, they imply new processes of workplace innovation, with participative strategies and development of new forms of work organisation. When safety plays also a central role, the working life environment is improved. New concepts as responsibility, decision making, situation awareness and risk assessment are also included in such innovative processes. The discussion of outcomes will be based on empirical evidences and on the qualitative research approach that we undertook recently.