It’s not science fiction: robots are invading our world in a big way. That invasion, fueled by dramatic advancements in technology that make the devices more sophisticated than ever, is resulting in their increased use in workplaces, among other spheres. With this in mind, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has established a virtual Center for Occupational Robotics Research that will specifically address the safety and health implications for worker-robot interactions.
“New robotics applications are fundamentally different from earlier applications in which robots were designed to operate in isolation from workers, in robotic cells or cages,” says NIOSH Director Dr. John Howard. “New classes of robots are being designed to work alongside, move among, and even be worn by human workers.”