Prof. Dr. Barbara Deml
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Proactive Diagnosis and Design of CoBot Deployment in Small and Medium Sized Enterprises
SMEs, the backbone of the German economy, are currently facing increasing competitive pressure and a shortage of skilled workers. One possible answer is the use of new types of collaborative robots (so-called CoBots), which enable direct collaboration with humans and can be adapted to a wide range of tasks with little effort. Work processes can thus be organized more efficiently. At the same time, the attractiveness of jobs increases as the CoBots take over physically demanding or monotonous tasks. So far, however, SMEs have made little use of this potential because they often lack the organizational and personnel capacities as well as the process-accompanying planning and decision-making aids needed to identify, evaluate and implement deployment scenarios for CoBots in a well-founded manner.
Aim of the research project
In the ProBot research project, a virtual diagnostic kit is being developed to identify the possible interfaces for the introduction of CoBot solutions. This is to contain detailed, easy-to-use and company-specific adaptable planning and decision-making aids, which enable a precise analysis of the initial conditions and well-founded estimation of the CoBot deployment variants. The development is carried out in close cooperation with SMEs from the manufacturing industry. In each partner company, promising use cases for human-robot solutions are identified on the basis of the prevailing personnel and organizational conditions there and their added value for the company is evaluated. The best solution in each case is implemented, evaluated under practical conditions and continuously improved. During the entire process, the focus is on the question of which socio-technical factors are decisive for the successful use of human-robot teams and how SMEs can be enabled to proactively assess and design these factors. The resulting findings are virtually bundled in the ProBot diagnostic case as applicable planning and decision-making aids.
Added value for society
The results of the research project support SMEs in systematically tapping the potential of human-robot collaboration and thus increasing their competitiveness. Criteria catalogs, tools for extended profitability and deployment analyses, procedure models and success stories are made known via transfer partners. The diagnostic kit will be available to other interested SMEs, e.g. from the logistics sector, for downloading from the project homepage.
All information on the project and the project partners can be found here!