Social implications of robotics in manufacturing industry (IR@MI), KIT

The traditional idea that automation is a technological milestone with evident economic and unquestionable benefits is still an approach that ignores research on the relation of automation to work organization. Integrative tasks as well as control tasks can be taken over by human workers. Humans are also better at dealing with unexpected events to keep production lines running. But this perspective has been continuously threatened through technocentric approaches that aim to avoid the involvement of humans in the automated production systems.

SynErgie – Ausrichtung von Industrieprozessen auf fluktuierende Energieversorgung (BMBF)

The SynErgie projects aims to provide, within the next ten years and in line with all legal and social aspects, all the technical and market-related preconditions to synchronize the energy demand of the German industry to a significant extent with the volatile energy supply. In this way, SynErgie contributes to the socially accepted and cost-efficient realization of the energy transition based on renewable energies. The knowledge obtained also allows Germany to evolve into an international lead provider of flexible industry processes and technologies.

Fischer, Martin, Bettina Krings, António Moniz, and Eike Zimpelmann. "Herausforderungen der Mensch-Roboter-Kollaboration." Lernen & Lehren 32 (2017): 8-14. AbstractWebsite

Die Ausweitung von Robotertechnologien nicht nur in der Industrie, sondern zunehmend auch in Dienstleistungsbereiche, stellt große Herausforderungen an die Mensch-Roboter-Kollaboration. Der Artikel beleuchtet psychologische, soziologische, arbeitswissenschaftliche und berufspädagogische Gesichtspunkte bei der Gestaltung und dem Einsatz von Robotern in Produktion und Service. Zu diesem Zweck werden zunächst spezifische Merkmale der Mensch-Roboter-Interaktion dargestellt, um anschließend Prinzipien der Funktionsteilung zwischen Menschen und Robotern in Arbeitssystemen des Produktions- und Servicebereichs zu diskutieren. Zu berücksichtigen sind hier die Organisation gesellschaftlicher Arbeit, die spezifischen Arbeitsaufgaben sowie die Möglichkeiten und Grenzen der informationstechnischen Realisierung solcher Aufgaben. Der Artikel endet mit dem Plädoyer, bei der Entwicklung und Anwendung von Robotern arbeitswissenschaftliche Kriterien mit Ansätzen partizipativer Technikgestaltung zu kombinieren.

Moniz, António, and Margarida Ramires Paulos. Futures of automobile industry and challenges on sustainable development and mobility. University Library of Munich, Germany, 2008. Abstract

Portugal had only very few foresight exercises on the automobile sector, and the most recent one was a survey held in a project on work organisation systems in the automobile industry, its recent historical paths and the special strategies of location of companies (the WorTiS project). This involved several teams with different disciplinary backgrounds and from two Portuguese universities. The provisional main results of the first round of a Delphi survey held in Portugal on the automotive sector were already published, but a further analysis was not yet done. This foresight survey was done under the WorTiS project, developed in 2004 by IET – Research Centre on Enterprise and Work Innovation (at FCT-UNL), and financed by the Portuguese Ministry of Science and Technology. Some of this experience on foresight analysis is also been transferred to other projects, namely the WORKS project on work organisation restructuring in the knowledge society that received the support from EC and still is running. The majority of experts considered having an average of less knowledge in almost all the scenario topics presented. This means that information on the automotive industry is not spread enough among academics or experts in related fields (regional scientists, innovation economists, engineers, sociologists). Some have a good knowledge but in very specialised fields. Others have expertise on foresight, or macroeconomics, or management sciences, but feel insecure on issues related with futures of automobile sector. Nevertheless, we considered specially the topics where the experts considered themselves to have some knowledge. There were no “irrelevant” topics considered as such by the expert panel. There are also no topics that are not considered a need for co-operation. The lack of technological infrastructures was not considered as a hindered factor for the accomplishment of any scenario. The experts’ panel considered no other international competence besides US, Jap