A future that works: Cobotics, digital skills and the re-humanization of the workplace (CODIMAN)

The Swiss economy is known for its productivity, precision and expertise. However the comparatively igh wages make it difficult for companies to stay worldwide competitive and avoid offshoring. The digitalization of work has the potential to help sustain and further improve the Swiss competitive advantages as well as strengthen their position in a global market. However, the implications of digitalization for work are not fully explored and give rise to contestation with respect to how labour in the future will look like and what competencies are needed in order to empower workers to take advantage of and participate in the digital transformation of work. This project will examine these questions by addressing factors that support the implementation and acceptance of new technologies with a particular focus on flexible automation and human-machine interactions. The project’s objectives are: a) to provide guidelines as to which digital skills are required by workers to make interactions with collaborative robotics empowering; and b) to provide insights into the necessary technical and educational tools for this empowerment to take place. Empirically, the project will employ a mixed-method approach consisting of interviews, non-participant observations and survey questionnaires as well as prototype testing. Besides guidelines for a successful implementation, the project will also deliver a platform for intuitive human-machine interaction that will provide a basis to acquire the necessary skills. To achieve these aims, the project is set up interdisciplinarily, combining expertise from computer sciences and engineering with social sciences. Building on research from those two strands, the project will make a significant and practical contribution to the advancement of a future of work that is not only more digital but also more humane.
Idiap Research Institute
Swiss National Science Foundation
May 01, 2020
Apr 30, 2024