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Robo Lab

Designing socio-technical interaction with collaborative robots – the FHNW Robo Lab.

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What issue will the project deal with?

A new technological generation of robots is increasingly finding its way into various areas of everyday life and the professional world. So-called social robots can act more independently from humans. They are more mobile and equipped with social and communicative features. These characteristics offer potential economic benefits for SMEs in industry, the service sector, education and healthcare, as the robots work directly with staff, customers and clients or as service robots (e.g. at shopping centres and stations), teaching robots (e.g. at a university) or telepresence robots (e.g. allowing sick children to participate in classroom teaching). However, there is great uncertainty among SMEs as well as in large parts of society as to what specific advantages and disadvantages these robots bring and whether they will create new jobs or replace them. What is more, there is also the question of what requirements social robots must fill in order to create added value for staff, teachers, students and customers.

What results and impacts are to be achieved?

In the first phase, case studies will be carried out to deploy social robots in practically relevant fields of application such as industry, training and continuing education, hospitals, old people’s homes and the shopping and tourism sectors. This phase aims first of all to identify the potential benefits of social robots and then to adapt the robots to the needs of SMEs in a targeted way. Ultimately, the aim is to develop methods and tools for supporting SMEs in deciding whether and how to introduce robots. This covers areas such as prototyping, user experience and acceptance testing, and checklists. Over the course of the three-year project, an interdisciplinary, applied “FHNW Robo Lab” is to be set up as a competence and cooperation network in the Swiss research and development landscape. The Robo Lab will expand on the prestigious Swiss robotics labs (e.g. NCCR), which have hitherto focused on basic research.

What will be different about the interdisciplinary cooperation on the project?

In the first phase, case studies will be carried out to deploy social robots in practically relevant fields of application such as industry, training and continuing education, hospitals, old people’s homes and the shopping and tourism sectors. This phase aims first of all to identify the potential benefits of social robots and then to adapt the robots to the needs of SMEs in a targeted way. Ultimately, the aim is to develop methods and tools for supporting SMEs in deciding whether and how to introduce robots. This covers areas such as prototyping, user experience and acceptance testing, and checklists. Over the course of the three-year project, an interdisciplinary, applied “FHNW Robo Lab” is to be set up as a competence and cooperation network in the Swiss research and development landscape. The Robo Lab will expand on the prestigious Swiss robotics labs (e.g. NCCR), which have hitherto focused on basic research.

FHNW Robo Lab

More background, objectives, project data and contacts on the FHNW Robo Lab

Find out more

Contact

Prof.
Prof. Dr. Hartmut Schulze Leiter Institut für Kooperationsforschung und -entwicklung Telephone : +41 62 957 24 19 E-Mail : hartmut.schulze@fhnw.ch
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