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.
- OSHA, in collaboration with NIOSH and A3, published the updated Technical Manual, Section IV, Chapter 4, Industrial Robot Systems and Industrial Robot System Safety.external icon
- NIOSH has signed an MOU with the University of Florida (UF) to enable collaborative robotics research between the institutions and provide educational opportunities for UF students.
CORR Mission: Provide scientific leadership to guide the development and use of occupational robots that enhance worker safety, health, and wellbeing.