Integration of ambient intelligence solutions for safety and health towards smart factories

Starting in 2013, researchers from a number of PEROSH member institutes came together to discuss joint research activities in the emerging fields of smart factories, ambient intelligence and Industry 4.0. The aim of the activities surrounding the project loosely titled “Concept of integration of ambient intelligence solutions for safety and health towards smart factories” was to identify the factors of ambient intelligence technologies that are of interest in the context of occupational safety in smart factories.

After an initial meeting, two working meetings with the participation of PEROSH members from Poland (CIOP), The Netherlands (TNO), Denmark (NFA) and Germany (BAuA) took place throughout 2015. During the meetings, it turned out that each member organization focussed on different fields of work, amongst them:

  • Robotics in health care (NFA)
  • eHealth or mobile health, apps and applications for health monitoring and feedback in the workplace (TNO)
  • robotics and VR development for various industries (CIOP-PIB)
  • plant and machine safety, industrial control systems (“Industrie 4.0”, BAuA)

Due to the diverse nature of these fields and the very fast development pace of digital technologies in the workplace, it was not possible to identify a common research goal on health and safety for a joint research project in this field. Therefore, BAuA proposed to make a cut and close this project.

As a common result it can be said that on the one hand new technologies offer the possibility of decreasing the sensory and cognitive effort for production state detection and data processing by persons involved. On the other hand, a risk of discomfort, fatigue or physical or psychological stress caused by the amount and speed of data presented by ambient intelligence systems may arise in smart factory settings. Against this background the different institutes will continue their research within their special field of interest. After a very fruitful cooperation where many incentives for single research paths were given and creative researchers were brought together, it was decided to continue further exchange on an informal basis.

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