Robots and COVID-19: Re-imagining human-robot collaborative work in terms of reducing risks to essential workers
Keywords:COVID-19, Robots, Labor, Collaboration, Human–Robot Interaction
The COVID-19 pandemic has led to the widespread adoption of physical distancing to prevent the disease’s spread. Physical distancing, however, is not always feasible for essential workers. Robots are one proposed solution to help ensure that essential work is performed while reducing the risk of COVID-19 exposure among essential workers and their families. The COVID-19 pandemic has, however, highlighted the ability and inability of robots to directly replace human labor. At present, much of the discussion has focused on the need for technical developments in robotics. This perspective is short-sighted because it and fails to leverage the collaborative nature of work between humans and robots. In response, this article acts as a call to shift the conversation away from technical developments and toward a focus on human and robot work redesign.
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Copyright (c) 2021 Connor Esterwood, Lionel Robert
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.