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HANNOVER MESSE 2020, 20 - 24 April
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Industrie 4.0

Cobots need smart human colleagues

Human-robot collaboration (HRC) can only make economic sense if human employees are appropriately qualified, as researchers at the ifaa Institute in Düsseldorf point out.

30 Aug. 2019
HMI-ID08-049db-ifaa-stowasser
Photo: ifaa – Institut für angewandte Arbeitswissenschaft e. V.

Professor Sascha Stowasser, Director of the Institute for Applied Ergonomics (ifaa) , emphasized the indispensability of this in his talk at the WORK2019 Conference in Helsinki. He also stressed the importance of high safety standards in HRC workplaces. According to the scientist, the successful introduction of cobots begins with involving employees in the planning phase, when robots are to be purchased. In addition, he believes that theoretical and practical training on the handling of HRC applications, ideally at model workstations or existing workstations, must also take place once the robots have been installed and that transparent and engaging communication in advance is essential, in order to allay fears and overcome resistance.

Unlike the first generations of robots, today’s cobots no longer perform their tasks spatially and separately from human colleagues through protective measures, but work with them in their immediate environment, ideally hand in hand. Cobots are a key technological development, and companies are hoping to use them to address the shortage of skilled workers.

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