Monday 23 May 2022

Pushing the Boundaries of Workplace Automation: Meaningful Work and Human-Robot Iteraction


ICRA 2022

ROOM 123 - Pennsylvania Convention Center, Philadelphia, USA


The introduction of sophisticated robots in the workplace has long been a debated topic not only in science, technology, and engineering studies but also from an ELSA perspective aiming to ensure that the ethical, legal, social aspects of systems are addressed through a holistic approach. In recent years, as the prevalence of those technologies in professional and private environments continues to increase and to influence human activities, it has become crucial to reflect on how robotics research can contribute to valuable and meaningful societal outcomes.

Robotics platforms impact the nature of work and deeply influence the value of “meaningful work”, which can be intended as the ability of work to make people feel motivated by the tasks they perform, and ultimately contribute to their idea of purpose and meaning in life.

From this perspective, different forms of automation can lead to several issues, such as a reduction in human commitment and achievement, in the overarching value produced by the individual worker at the workplace, and the transformation of human creative, supervisory, collaborative roles and tasks.

However, these concerns on automation are often based on conflicting interpretations of the ‘meaningful’ dimension of work, since there is no clear conception of what exactly the intrinsic value of work is. Thus, this workshop stands as an opportunity to suggest and emphasize other relevant aspects of meaningful work connected to robotic platforms and solutions, which may allow to retain human achievement and commitment in the workplace.


Paolo Dario


Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy

Flavia Padovani

Drexel University, Philadelphia (PA), USA

Alberto Sanfeliu

Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya (UPC), Barcelona, Spain

Cecilia Laschi

National University of Singapore, Singapore

Tamim Asfour

Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Karlsruhe, Germany

Maria Pia Fanti

Polytechnic University of Bari, Bari, Italy

Kanako Harada

The University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan

Supporting Technical Committees

IEEE RAS TC Digital Manufacturing and Human-Centered Automation

IEEE RAS TC Humanoid Robotics

IEEE RAS TC Robot Ethics

IEEE RAS TC Automation in Logistics

The Workshop welcomes poster presentations, especially from graduate students or young researchers that are willing to present in person their research and experience in a highly specialised and inviting dialogue setting.

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