News

First temp agency for humans and robots open to public

19 September 2017

HUBOT: how robots can make our future professions more humane

‘HUBOT, the employment agency for people and robots’ opens its doors on October 21 in the Eindhoven MediaMarkt. The exhibition disguised as an employment agency is part of the Dutch Design Week (21-29 October 2017). Initiators of HUBOT are Next Nature Network, Eindhoven municipality and Start Foundation. In sixteen futuristic professions, HUBOT shows that robots do not necessarily have to supplant people, but that by working together we can actually strengthen each other.

Because how does society view robots? As frightening objects with which people have to compete on the labor market? As technology that can be controlled? Or even as a new species with which we can live together?

For many people, the term “robotization” conjures up negative associations, a doomsday scenario in which robots take jobs away from people. According to this premise, employers are faced with a choice: do I let a robot or a human perform the task?

After visiting HUBOT, visitors look at technology (and its use) very differently. Because if we let go of the notion of replacement, of one or the other, and realize that humans and robots can also make each other function better, a world of possibilities opens up; a world in which new jobs are created.

Empowered by Robots
HUBOT is part of the umbrella program ‘Empowered by Robots’, started in 2016 by alderman for economics Staf Depla (Eindhoven municipality), Jos Verhoeven (Start Foundation) and designed by Koert van Mensvoort (Next Nature Network). Empowered by Robots aims to draw positive attention to the opportunities and benefits that technological developments offer to the labor market. Central to this are people with fewer job opportunities or whose jobs are apparently threatened by robots.

Think of a mover with a robot suit. This was always a profession for musclemen, but thanks to the motorized exoskeleton, even someone with a featherweight build or a physical disability can effortlessly lug a washing machine outside. Or the shiva physical therapist. Human touch has a unique therapeutic effect. A machine cannot replace that. The shiva physiotherapist therefore also simply massages with his or her own hands, but for best results he or she uses four additional robotic arms. No hand fatigue and the best six-arm massages ever.

HUBOT opens its doors at Dutch Design Week from October 21, 2017 at 10:00 am at MediaMarkt Eindhoven, Boschdijktunnel 1 (a five-minute walk from central station). HUBOT will close on Sunday, October 29 at 18:00. A visit to HUBOT is free of charge. On October 14 the HUBOT website will go live.

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