The number of robots that are being installed in the working world is still rising. Sceptics see this development as a menace to all human labor. But if we take a closer look we’ll see that only a handful of human jobs will be replaced by more efficient robots. In many cases we’ll see a collaboration between humans and machines instead. In order to make this collaboration successful, the education of future workers need to be adapted for the new development. Trainees and young professionals should learn how to collaborate with robots at the beginning of their education.
Robotics, mechanics and computer science are the working fields of the future. Here, robots are already an integral part of university programs like automation engineering and electrical engineering. Young people who will develop and build the robots of tomorrow already get a good education which deals with the challenges of the future. But what about the people who will be operating these machines or collaborating with robots?
Junior employees in the fields of home care, logistics and other fields should also be trained in the handling of robots at an early stage. It is necessary that the content of teaching is customized and that topics like digitalization and robotics become parts of the curriculum. After all, many employers already imply that their staff can handle new technologies. If, for example, a nurse for the elderly has to work together with a home care robot, he or she needs to know how to handle the machine. The best scenario would be if the nurse has learned everything about that at school. The constantly advanced technological development calls for a frequent update of the content of teaching. This could be a big challenge for educational institutions in the near future.
If we want the collaboration between humans and machines to be successful we need to rethink. The sooner we impart knowledge about robots and the digital working world, the better. But it is not only up to the universities and schools. The familiarization with a life working together with robots should already start at infancy. For example, with Tinkerbots kids from the age of six can get a first look on robotics and mechanics.