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FRIDA (Flexible Robot Industrial Dual Arm) is a robot built by MIT’s Interactive Robotics Group that uses visual sensors and algorithm-based machine-learning capabilities to engage in complex interactions with humans. It can assess individual workers’ habits and adapt its actions to continuously improve human-robot collaboration.
FRIDA works alongside humans to complete manufacturing tasks. Its ability to assess individual workers’ habits and then adapt its actions to continuously improve human-robot collaboration is an example of human-digital recombination.
The Impact of Technology on the Future of Work: From Looking Digital to Being Digital
Over the next five years, new digital technologies promise to dramatically change work outcomes and work experiences for employees of all sorts across a wide array of industries. Companies that want to lead in the digital era must rethink the way they get work done.
Human-digital recombination is a work practice that will become much more prevalent in the next five years with the diffusion of intelligent digital processes. It is the practice in which robots learn from humans and employees interact seamlessly with computers.
FRIDA’s collaborative work with humans speaks to the likelihood that human-robot teaming is likely to become a more viable and effective option for performing physical work. New work design options, such as human-robot teaming, have the potential to shift work from traditional robots to interactive robots capable of actively supporting human workers. With this shift, humans will be able to take more control of their work and focus on more complex tasks.
Robert J. Thomas, managing director of the Accenture Institute for High Performance, is the author of “Crucibles of Leadership” (Harvard Business Press, 2008) and “What Machines Can’t Do” (University of California Press, 1994).
Alex Kass, a senior research manager, currently leads the Digital Workforce Innovation Initiative in Accenture Technology Labs.
Ladan Davarzani is a research fellow with the Accenture Institute for High Performance.
June 20, 2014
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