AQUIAS – Inclusion through robotics

Challenge

Robots are already becoming widely established in German factories. Furthermore, highly advanced sensors in robots are eliminating the need for safety barriers, thus enabling companies to completely reorganize production work. But how can they distribute the work between humans and robots so as to ensure that the people don’t lose out on the desirable tasks? In the AQUIAS project, researchers are developing scenarios to explore how to find the right balance between ensuring that work is performed cost-effectively and that the tasks assigned to humans are rewarding.

Method

In the first of two pilot schemes, Robert Bosch GmbH’s “APAS assistant” – a mobile manufacturing assistant – is being put to work at ISAK gGmbH, a company that gives assembly line jobs to people with all kinds of severe disabilities. For the second pilot scheme, Robert Bosch GmbH is using its APAS assistant to test various ways of dividing tasks between people and robots within the organization.

Result

The insights gained from the pilot schemes provide guidance and the experience required to plan and implement human-robot collaboration setups. Simulating workplaces with virtual reality technology makes it possible to offer virtual tours and to incorporate user feedback into organizing work processes and the workplace. By conducting a quick check, companies can perform a holistic assessment of their scenarios for future human-robot collaboration to make sure they are cost-effective as well as appealing to employees.