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One of the aims of Industry 4.0 is to enable cost-efficient manufacturing of even small quantities. The world’s first temporary employment agency for robots, Robozän GmbH i.G., which opened its doors in November 2015, heralds an entirely new approach in this field. The concept of offering humanoid robots for temporary work was dreamed up by Berlin-based robotics pioneer Matthias Krinke, whose company pi4 robotics GmbH is now showcasing the third generation of its workerbots at HANNOVER MESSE 2016. It was the workerbots’ extreme flexibility that inspired him to make this move. "Our new concept for making the working environment more flexible significantly boosts Europe as a manufacturing location and responds to the increasing individualization of products and smaller production runs," Krinke explains. Incidentally, he’s not only the managing director of Robozän GmbH i.G. but also its only human staff member.

This innovative concept involves the owners of robots providing robotic manpower for other companies to use – without any effort at all, as all the organizational work involved is performed by the temporary employment agency. This ranges from procuring work assignments to transporting the robots to the workplace, their induction into work processes and even insuring them. Robozän pays a monthly salary at the current minimum wage of EUR 8.50 per hour to the provider and also issues an extra end-of-year summary for the robot to be used in the annual tax return – all this for just a moderate administrative fee and commission. The benefits for the end customer from using robots as temporary workers are clear. Once the robot has completed a virtually negligible induction phase, it can work 24/7 for weeks on end. The only two commitments for the end user are a minimum six-month contract and usage for at least two shifts per day.

pi4 robotics GmbH (13355 Berlin, Germany), Hall 2, Stand C28, co-exhibitor with the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy