Ergonomics: The Relationship Between People And Machines
Ergonomics is the science of designing machines, products and systems to maximize the safety, comfort and efficiency of the people who use them1. It is the . So, it's clear that there are many cases in which machines can work better for I studied the relationship between humans and machines for many years; to the automated systems and what to retain for human management. ing a central role for the operator in the management (supervisory) control loop, “how” can systems be developed and humans be trained in order to: . optimisation of the relationship between people and their activities, by the integra -.
In the office setting computer-based workthere are specific areas that should be addressed: The VDT should be tilted so that the top of the screen is at or just below eye level slightly lower for bi- or trifocal wearers. Should be adjusted so the wrist and hand remain in a neutral position at all times There should be a slight arch in the fingertips and center of the hand An adjustable keyboard tray should be able to extend and tilt so the employee does not have to stretch or hyperextend to switch tasks Mouse: Should be located in close proximity to other tasks For employees who use the phone extensively, a headset system may be an option to prevent stress to the neck and shoulders Mechanical Tasks: Adjusting valves, performing maintenance in small spaces Try using a chain to assist with opening valves Use forklifts to lift heavy objects while loading and unloading Take frequent breaks Use the buddy system for extensive jobs and alternate personnel periodically For jobs that require bending, try using adjustable racks or stands to correct the problem Rather than using a ladder, use a lift with more space to work safely A checklist from the OSHA Web site has been attached to assist with completing an ergonomic assessment.
What can the employee do to help?
Stretch and warm up before work begins and periodically when stress or strain is noticed after working continuously and in the same position for long periods of time. Employees should also contribute by reporting equipment needing repair or replacement to the appropriate person. Correcting and preventing ergonomic deficiencies is a team effort.
IXDS | New relationships between man and machine
I believe most of these achievements will have an overall positive effect on humanity, and hopefully on human happiness which I would suggest should be the ultimate goal as well. This would clearly be the heavenly side of the coin. At the same time, on the hell-side we are now approaching a series of complex intersections at very high speeds. Soon, every single junction we navigate could either lead to more human-centric gains or result in serious aberrations and grave dangers.
Clearly, if we assume that machines will be an inevitably large part of that future, we will need to decide both what we want them to be, and perhaps more importantly, what we want to be as humans — and we need to do it soon. Buzzwords such as AI and Deep Learning are already making the headlines every single day, and this is just the tip of the iceberg. At the same time, almost every single major information and communications technology ICT company already has several initiatives in this man-machine convergence arena.
Google and Facebook are busy acquiring small and large companies in a wide range of AI and robotics-related fields. They clearly realize that the future is not just about big data, mobile, and connected everything. They see the next horizon as embedding capability to make every process, every object, and every machine truly functionally intelligentalbeit not yet truly humanly intelligent as far as social or emotional traits are concerned. But maybe this is just a question of when rather than if?
In the very near future, who will bother with typing a precise two-word search phrase into a box when the system already knows everything about you, your schedule, your location, your likes, your connections, your transactions, and much more? Based on the situational context, your external brain i. Hellvenonce again, depends on your standpoint. IBM, the creator of Watson Analytics, one of the leading commercially available AI products, appears to be betting the farm on this future.
IBM is investing billions of dollars into neurosynaptic chips and cognitive computing — designed to emulate the human neural systems with the intention of creating a holistic computing experience, i.
Computing is no longer outside of us — a thought both scary and exhilarating. The list goes on.
Clearly, man-machine convergence is on top of the global agenda and investors smell enormous profits. After all, it is they who are funding commercial applications of man-machine technologies that might have potentially catastrophic side effects on humanity. In my view, the issue of how man and machine will inter-relate in the future should not be viewed from a profit-only perspective.
The coming combination of these forces that operate beyond and above human values strikes me as even more dangerous. Some futurist colleagues predict that we will soon reach a point where the capacity of thinking machines will exceed that of the human brain; a point that Ray Kurzweil, scientist and author of How to Create a Mindcalls the Singularity, with as the likely ETA.
At this point, if not earlier, even larger and deeply wicked problems will emerge. For example, if we maintain that technology does not and will not have ethics, it would probably be downright stupid for anyone to expect that any current or future software-program, machine, or robot would be able to act based on human morals, values, or ethics.
Thus, the morals of machines will emerge as a major factor in the future of humanity, and the issues around what I call Digital Ethics see below will quickly become more essential as technology spirals into the future. I believe that every time we offload a task to an algorithm a machine we will also need to think about what kind of humarithm we need to offset the side-effects, i.
For example, we may eventually come to the conclusion that commercial airliners can indeed be better piloted by software and robots than by human beings; most research already indicates that this is indeed the case.
But if so, we must certainly think about how the passengers will feel about traveling inside a large metal tube that is steered entirely by a robot. This may well be a typical case of where efficiency should not trump humanity.
The trap of machine-thinking In my view, the issue is less likely to be the cookie-cutter, dystopian Hollywood plot that we have watched dozens of times, i. The much bigger concern is that we as humans, might soon be forced to effectively behave more like — or even become — machines in order to remain productive or useful in a machine-age economy. Just imagine a world where you simply cannot compete or even keep up without some kind of wearable augmented reality AR or virtual reality VR device, or without an implant, or other mental or physical augmentations.
Given that many of us are already utterly dependent on our mobile devices, and often feel alone or incomplete without them, these scenarios may become reality a lot faster than we think. Once these technologies are cheap, easy to use, and ubiquitous their utter convenience will be extremely tempting. The real question for now is probably not if and when the machines will attempt to control, replace, or even eliminate us.
In our opinion, machines will never be able to replace the qualities of humans.
Ergonomics: The Relationship Between People And Machines
Networked distribution and nowadays often disjunct systems, such as order management and machine utilization, bears much larger potentials for speeding up processes. The same is true for human decision-making, be it order management on the shop floor or price calculations based on current utilization.
Thinking in overarching systems, bringing information together is what we call service design.
Man-to-machine communication Smart manufacturing is often discussed as connecting machines and IT systems. Consequentially, IT departments and engineers are in the lead to drive this topic further. With a focus on machines they expect to reduce the impact of those notorious human errors.