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MOZART introduces a new kind of automated handling of fragile, fresh food items aimed to foster human-robot collaboration in the workplace. End-users needs and expectations towards robotic automation are central to MOZART.
The project’s interdisciplinary approach fosters technological innovation across academia and industry that explicitly involves social sciences and humanities (SSH).
SSH research on MOZART automation includes human-robot interaction (HRI), transformations of labour, as well as concerns with sustainability and usability. The SSH team monitors, from a qualitative perspective, how these sociotechnical aspects are tackled in the design, development, and implementation of the MOZART technologies.
MOZART wants to deliver a technology that is useful for both the food industry and the operators working with the technology on a day-to-day basis. The perspectives of all experts and stakeholders involved in MOZART, from the engineers to the end-users, from the food industry to academia, are key in working towards this goal. To monitor potential mechanisms of inclusion and exclusion along the categories of age, technological and educational background, ableism and gender, is of special importance as well.
SUSTAINABILITY IN ALL ITS FORM
MOZART pursues ambitious sustainability goals. It aims to mitigate the problems posed by a lack of production workers in the food industry, and envisions transforming unskilled jobs into knowledge-based, high-paying jobs. MOZART further envisions allowing industries to transfer resources from manual handling to other crucial steps of the production chain, including animal welfare, food safety, and food quality while reducing the production cost/selling price.
The SSH research explores under which conditions these goals can be achieved. The background for this is a deeper understanding of the historical and current transformations of the food industry through robotic automation in their economic, social, and ecological dimensions.
“Face to Interface” is a research blog for documenting and exploring the intersections between social sciences and humanities research and robotic engineering on the one hand, and between academia and industry on the other.
Three are the main research themes of this blog:
• Interdisciplinary research in the making;
• HRI, automation, and emotions;
• Histories, presents and futures of human labour divisions at the factory.