handshake - robot and human

Robots are machines or automated technologies that are capable of performing a series of actions to do everything from drive cars to perform surgery. Robots have existed in the workplace for years, but their presence on jobsites is increasing, as are their capabilities. Today’s robots are designed to work alongside, move amongst, and be worn by human workers.

NIOSH’s Role in Robotics

Given NIOSH’s mission to develop new knowledge, the Institute is uniquely positioned to evaluate potential benefits and risks of robots in the workplace, conduct workplace interventions to prevent robot-related worker injuries, and develop guidance for safe interactions between humans and robots. To do this, NIOSH created the Center for Occupational Robotics Research (CORR) in September 2017.

The CORR is encompassed within NIOSH-wide efforts to examine the Future of Work (FOW) and broaden the approach to worker safety, health and well-being. Specifically, CORR addresses some of the technological innovations, such as robotics and artificial intelligence, that are changing the nature of work.

Join NIOSH for a free webinar: The Role of Robotics in the Future of Work, part of the NIOSH Future of Work Initiative Webinar Series. This event will take place June 22 from 2–3 pm ET.

NIOSH recently released seven occupational exoskeleton webinar recordings from 2019-2021 to YouTube for easier access.

Through a cooperative agreement with NIOSH, CPWR published the following key findings from research:
A Practical Model for Measuring and Mitigating Safety Risks of Using UAS in Constructionpdf iconexternal icon and Nebulizer-Retrofitted Drone Deployment at Residential Construction Sitespdf iconexternal icon

NIOSH researchers are guest editing a special issue of the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (IJERPH) on the Impact of Technologies on Occupational Health and Well-being. The special issue is now open for submissionexternal icon online. The deadline is September 30, 2022.

CORR Mission: Provide scientific leadership to guide the development and use of occupational robots that enhance worker safety, health, and wellbeing.

Page last reviewed: March 4, 2022