As part of the Industry 4.0 vision, smart-workers will become the core of the factories of the future. Smart factories will require blurring the lines between the virtual and physical representation of the manufacturing processes, the machine settings and monitoring, the external events affecting manufacturing and the knowledge sharing and communication between workers supporting interactions between the worker and the factory at anytime and in anyplace.  Moreover, the role of workers will also blur as they will be required to perform different tasks of different knowledge areas.

HMI technologies are the window to the new shop-floor scenario for smart-workers. Many of them are well known because they are used in the consumer world or they are already applied in other industrial fields (such as logistic), they are starting to be adopted on the shop-floor.

As a consequence, when considering the adoption of technologies, in particular disruptive ones (i.e. Augmented Reality), for implementing a project different stakeholders must answer many questions: Which are the available HCI enabling technologies that can support the creation of Worker Centred Industry 4.0? Have the available HCI enabling technologies a TRL high enough for supporting the project goals? Is it possible to objectively determine the TRL level of a technology? Which is the TRL level of a system of technologies?  Once we evaluated our technologist of interest, how we can read it? Which are the conclusions we can obtain from it?

D2.2, Technology Monitoring: Report on information needed for the Industrial Challenges workers with taxonomy aims to advance in objectively answering these questions. Firstly, the report defines a methodology for creating, evaluating and reading a taxonomy of (HCI) enabling technologies. The methodology allows the identification of the technologies of interest and the evaluation of their TRL levels as a way to identify the assumed risks of using a given technology.

Secondly, D2.2 presents the result of applying the methodology for creating the FACTS4WORKERS reference taxonomy of technologies: the available HCI technologies which can support the implementation of use cases of the project together with the evaluation of their TRL levels.

Finally D2.2 presents two groups of conclusions. The first group of conclusions evaluates the taxonomy branches and their possible use by FACTS4WORKERS developers.  The second group evaluated the methodology itself.  It tries to find issues which are not clearly resolved or not resolved at all.  At the end, this second group of conclusions looks for opportunities of improvement of the methodology.

D2.2 is the second version of a series of 4 reports monitoring the HCI enabling technologies. The series was initiated by D2.1. It wants to show the evolution of the TRL levels of the technologies of interferes for the FACTS4WORKERS project during its execution.

24. January 2017

To what extent can state of the art HCI technologies support the requirements of workers?

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Deliverable 6.1 “Evaluation Framework”

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