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Human-Robot collaboration: Myth or reality?

Sustainable Transformation Seminars

The Sustainable Transformation Seminars autumn 2022 series third seminar is held by speaker Dario Antonelli, with the title "Human-Robot collaboration: Myth or reality?". The format is 25 minutes presentation and 20 minutes of guided and open discussion with a KTH moderator/host.

Time: Fri 2022-11-11 12.15 - 13.00

Location: Online

Language: English

Participating: Dario Antonelli

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The Sustainable Transformation Seminars Autumn 2022 series is held monthly, usually on a Friday. The seminar series will continue to be online.

Seminar description

Autonomous and collaborative robots have revolutionized the working environment in factories that have adopted Industry 4.0 technologies. In the talk it will be explained why the robot can be a valid companion or assistant for the human worker. It will be shown how a collaborative robot can allow people with disabilities to perform industrial tasks that require strength or dexterity. The improvement in work safety will be shown thanks to the intelligent sensors that modern robots are equipped with.

However, all the problems caused by the introduction of collaborative robots in the company will not be omitted. In particular, the seminar will focus on the potential loss of jobs, replaced by automation, and on the impossibility of full collaboration with present day robots due to the lack of communication. Taking a cue from the theory of communication, it will be shown that the solution to this last problem can be found by endowing the robot with a certain degree of empathy, that is, making it capable of understanding the feelings or at least the point of view of the human collaborator.


Dario Antonelli, Professor, Politecnico di Torino – Italy

Dario Antonelli.

Dario Antonelli is Associate Professor of Production Systems at Politecnico di Torino, Italy, where he directs the professional master in Hierarchical Open Manufacturing for Industry 4.0. The research is spread over many different areas, with one word in common: collaboration. Therefore, he studied the collaboration between companies in collaborative supply networks and the collaboration between different business sectors in product development. Recently he has dedicated himself to human-robot collaboration supported by Machine Learning. He is member of IFIP Working Group 5.5 COVE (Collaborative Virtual Enterprise).

Connection to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Goal 8, Target 8.5

“By 2030, achieve full and productive employment and decent work for all women and men, including for young people and persons with disabilities, and equal pay for work of equal value.”

Collaborative robots will provide safe and inclusive access to the work in factory for people with or without disabilities, by taking on the burden of the most tiring and risky tasks. However, job losses in the transition from manual to automatic work cannot be overlooked.


Dario Antonelli email:

About the Sustainable Transformation seminars