Introduction of symbiotic human-robot-cooperation in the steel sector

an example of social innovation

The introduction of new technologies, which can support and empower human capabilities in a number of professional tasks while possibly reducing the need for cumbersome operations and the exposure to risk and professional diseases, is nowadays perceived as a must in any industrial field, process industry included. However, despite their relevant potentials, new technologies are not always easy to introduce in the professional environment. A design procedure which takes into account the workers’ acceptance, needing and capabilities as well as a continuing education and training process of the personnel who must exploit the innovation, is as fundamental as the technical reliability for the successful introduction of any new technology in a professional environment. An exemplary case is provided by symbiotic human-robot-cooperation. In the steel sector, the difficulties for the implementation of symbiotic human-robot-cooperation is bigger with respect to the manufacturing sector, due to the environmental conditions, which in some cases are not favorable to robots. On the other hand, the opportunities and potential advantages are also greater, as robots could replace human operators in repetitive, heavy tasks, by improving workers’ health and safety. The present paper provides an example of the potential and opportunities of human-robot interaction and discusses how this approach can be included in a social innovation paradigm. Moreover, an example will be provided of an ongoing project funded by the Research Fund for Coal and Steel, “ROBOHARSH”, which aims at implementing such approach in the steel industry, in order to develop a very sensitive task, i.e. the replacement of the refractory components of the ladle sliding gate.

Bibliographische Angaben:
Colla, Valentina; Schröder, Antonius; Buzzelli, Andrea; Abbà, Dario; Faes, Andrea; Romaniello, Lea:
Introduction of symbiotic human-robot-cooperation in the steel sector
an example of social innovation;
In: Matériaux & Techniques , Band: 105, 5/6/2017, 505