CODIMAN

Technologies such as cobotics and AI are transforming the way humans and machines interact in the industrial world. The way these technologies are implemented will influence this transformation and its impact on the worker.

Factsheet

  • Lead department Engineering and Information Technology
  • Additional departments Business
  • Institute Institute for Human Centered Engineering (HUCE)
  • Research unit HUCE / HuCE – roboticsLab
  • BFH centre BFH Centre for the Digital Society
  • Funding organisation SNSF
  • Duration (planned) 01.05.2020 - 30.04.2024
  • Project management Sarah Dégallier Rochat
  • Head of project Sarah Dégallier Rochat

Situation

The current transformation of industry raises many questions about the evolution of working conditions, particularly for low-skilled workers. If, historically, automation has been synonymous with deskilling, cobots allow a redistribution of tasks between man and machine. The robot can take care of the procedural tasks, while the human takes care of the tasks requiring flexibility, know-how and critical sense, allowing for a revaluation of their work.

Course of action

In order to better understand the ongoing transformation, we propose a multi-disciplinary approache combining social sciences, robotics and computer sciences, focused on the worker’s experience. Field studies, user research and testing will be performed in different industrial environments in order to develop a solution based on the worker’s needs.

Result

Field studies will allow a better understanding of the impact of new forms of human-machine interactions on the transformation of working conditions. A human-machine interface will be developed and continuously tested in collaboration with the workers to identify the factors that make the interaction rewarding. The programming of the robot will be made intuitive and flexible so that the robot is at the service of the human rather than the other way round.

Looking ahead

The current transformation of industry raises many questions about the evolution of working conditions, particularly for low-skilled workers. If, historically, automation has been synonymous with deskilling, cobots allow as redistribution of tasks between man and machine. The robot can take care of the procedural tasks, while the human take careful the tasks requiring flexibility, know.how and critical sense, allowing for a revaluation of work.