Ten partners from across Europe with a single objective: contribute to the creation of an intelligent factory that combines technological evolution and simplicity of use, automation and flexibility. A smart, elaborate factory but one that is always user-friendly, where robots and artificial intelligence systems do not replace the operator but manage to adapt to his/her cognitive and physical characteristics, his/her language and cultural background and experience. On Friday 13 September, Scm Group, partner in the Inclusive European project, hosted a workshop on "Human-centred automation in the era of artificial intelligence". The event was organised in collaboration with the ITS Maker Foundation and welcomed professionals, researchers and students to the Headquarters in Rimini to illustrate the important results in the three-year project financed by the European Commission as part of the Horizon 2020 Programme.
After an introduction from Federico Ratti, Scm Group Innovation Director, Prof. Lorenzo Sabattini from the University of Modena - Reggio Emilia and project coordinator, illustrated how, by examining several industrial cases, the aim was to develop man-machine interaction systems capable of further assisting the operator even under stressful conditions, right up to the "opening of doors" of more complex automated cells even to "vulnerable" users with reduced physical and cognitive skills. How? The first step was to use specific sensors in real time to pick-up any discomfort in the operator during potentially critical work, like setting-up a machine at the start of a new process. And "unlock" a machine or system: the man-machine interface that needs to be able to adapt language, visual and information to user characteristics, by providing concrete support via virtual reality systems, for example, indicating how and where a piece to be processed needs to be positioned. The case study developed by Scm Group for this project is Maestro Active, the HMI adapted to all the group's technologies which combines a highly innovative design with an excellent user experience.
The workshop day, whose audience included around thirty teachers and students from the ITS in Forlì, continued with interventions, among others, from Birgit Voegel-Heuser, Chair of Automation and Information Systems at the Munich Technical University and Daniele De Cia, CEO of Niew, a company specialising in User Experience Design. In the afternoon, the work continued with a visit to the SCM Technology Center and a presentation by Daniele Vacchi, ITS Maker Foundation Manager, of the new course due to start in Rimini in the coming Autumn. Also acting as host was the President of Scm Group, Giovanni Gemmani.
The Inclusive project will round up its work at the end of the week with a review meeting and an illustration of all the European Commission's findings. We’ll be back soon with new updates.