Executive Briefings

Robots as Co-workers? Not on Your Life.

In June this year a robot crushed a man to death in a Volkswagen factory in Germany. The 22-year-old maintenance worker became trapped between a large robotic arm and a metal plate, in an area usually off-bounds to humans.

Robots as Co-workers? Not on Your Life.

The tragic incident highlighted a major technological challenge: As we move towards an increasingly automated world, how do we reach a point where robots and humans can exist side-by-side, sharing space and collaborating on tasks?

Safe and efficient robot-human interaction – dubbed "collaborative robotics" or "cobotics" –  has the power to transform assembly lines, domestic work, healthcare and logistics. 

As it stands, industrial robots are far too dangerous to share space with humans – having been linked to more than 20 fatal accidents in the U.S. alone – and so tend to be shielded by large screens.

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The tragic incident highlighted a major technological challenge: As we move towards an increasingly automated world, how do we reach a point where robots and humans can exist side-by-side, sharing space and collaborating on tasks?

Safe and efficient robot-human interaction – dubbed "collaborative robotics" or "cobotics" –  has the power to transform assembly lines, domestic work, healthcare and logistics. 

As it stands, industrial robots are far too dangerous to share space with humans – having been linked to more than 20 fatal accidents in the U.S. alone – and so tend to be shielded by large screens.

Read Full Article

Robots as Co-workers? Not on Your Life.