PUBLICATION - acceptability of industrial cobots

(24-05-2021)

Collaborative robots ('cobots') will have a prominent place within the emerging fourth industrial revolution. Today, it is however unknown how operators relate to this cobot (r)evolution. This explorative study deployed a survey and a short semi-structured interview and discovered that initial job threat in operators from two Flemish industrial companies and in technical students panned out low. This perception did raise significantly toward the end of the survey - where participants had learned more about cobots, possibly because (future) operators doubt the reliability and capabilities of cobots. The general acceptability of cobots panned out rather positive for operators. Next to this, a higher acceptability was found for cobot functionalities covering physical tasks and quality control, while cognitively advanced and adaptive cobots yielded rather neutral acceptability. Remarkably, future operators (students) rated most of these variables slightly lower, compared to currently employed operators.

Read the paper here (or contact the authors for a copy). This study was conducted during the Flanders Make SBO-project Yves.

Van Acker, B., Conradie, P., Parmentier, D., Joundi, J., Saldien, J., & Vlerick, P. (2021). Een exploratief onderzoek naar de accepteerbaarheid van industriële cobots bij (toekomstige) operatoren. Gedrag & Organisatie, 34(1), 13–51. https://doi.org/10.5117/G&O2021.1.003.VANA

Contact: dr. Bram Van Acker, dr. Peter Conradie, Jamil Joundi, Prof. dr. ing. Jelle Saldien