Robots as a Place for Socializing: Influences of Collaborative Robots on Social Dynamics In- and Outside the Production Cells

Eunjeong Cheon, Eike Schneiders, Kristina Diekjobst, Mikael B. Skov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

Introducing robots in the workplace entails new practices and configurations at the individual, organizational, and social levels. Prior work has focused on how robots may have an immediate effect on individual employees or tasks rather than collectively influencing employees or the organizations they work for gradually over time. By drawing on fourteen in-situ interviews with six collaborative robot (cobot) operators at a Danish manufacturing company, this paper investigates how cobots in the manufacturing context may engage broader interactions beyond the robot-operator interaction. Our focus includes spatial configurations centering around the cobots, social interactions between employees, and information flow through, within, and outside the production cells. Introducing and implementing cobots in the workplace has social dynamics at its core, which we explore in depth. This paper argues that the design of cobots and the environment around them should accommodate the possibility of more complicated social and organizational changes brought about by these robots. Lastly, we discuss research and design implications for the future of workplaces involving robots.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number457
JournalProceedings of the ACM on Human-Computer Interaction
Volume6
Issue numberCSCW2
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 11 2022

Keywords

  • Collaborative robots
  • Social dynamics
  • The future of work
  • Workers
  • Workplaces

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Networks and Communications

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