ROBOTICS

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.

  • Funding opportunity: The National Science Foundation’s National Robotics Initiative (NRI) 3.0external icon program is accepting proposals between April 19 and May 3, 2021.
  • CDC Awards $1.5 Million for Research to Reduce Exposures to Workplace Hazards through Robotic Technology.
  • ErgoX Symposiumexternal icon was held October 13-14. CORR leaders Hongwei Hsiao, PhD and Dawn Castillo, MPH contributed to planning and served as Robotics Track Chair and Partnership Opportunities moderator respectively.

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

Page last reviewed: December 7, 2020