With the support of



Research into working in factories for the future

Technology changes the way in which we live and work. Discover how we use robots and Virtual Reality to support operators in the factory of the future. There is no doubt: the new way of working will be digital.

Technology in support of people

Working side by side with robots

Automation has made life for operators a lot easier. Robots are taking over an increasing number of heavy and repetitive tasks. But when programming a robot takes more time than the actual execution of the task, isn’t automation then missing its goal? Collaborative robots, which work side by side with man, learn from an operator who demonstrates tasks. We also examine how robots can be programmed in a more intuitive way, for instance through speech recognition. This will facilitate their use for variable tasks, as is among others required for the production of small series, and will ensure the increased use of collaborative robots in industrial environments.

However, all these technological changes have both a physical and cognitive impact on our ageing workforce. That’s why we perform research into ways to let robots and men work together so that work remains workable. We can, for instance, use collaborative robots for tasks that would otherwise require too much physical strain. After a thorough analysis of the workplace, we optimise the division of tasks between operator and collaborative robot. To quantify the cognitive load, we use high-tech measuring devices. 


To enable operators of companies to experience the technological developments that have been realised in the Operator Support 4.0 lab, we make use of the MAKE LAB. This mobile, fully connected, research infrastructure is a living lab in which we work together with companies towards solutions for their technological challenges. Through co-creation, we identify opportunities for growth and innovation by deploying robots or Virtual Reality. First, we perform a feasibility study in the Operator Support 4.0 lab. We then implement this solution in the MAKE LAB and bring the technology literally to your doorstep. There, your operators can experience the possibilities for themselves. 


More in our blog

Digital work instructions help operators to make customised products

Read more about digital work instructions here

The factory for the future: Incorporating product variation in the production processESS

Read more about our MAKE LAB here

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