THE NETHERLANDS: TNO publishes two reports on emerging risks

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The research organization TNO has investigated the emerging risks related not only to the use of robots in the workplace, but also to electronic connections between work equipment. This research was performed at the request of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment.

  • For several decades, robots have been a key feature of science-fiction films and books. The first real robot, Gargantuan, was built between 1935 and 1937 based on Meccano®. The industrial robots of today are very similar to those introduced on General Motors’ car production lines in 1961. In the past fifty years, robots have become much faster and more precise. But they are frequently located in a specific place or on rails; they automatically carry out a single task in a fixed danger zone or inside a safety cage. These robots are still far from the intelligent, autonomous robots of the science-fiction world. Unlike the humans they may seem to resemble, they are not capable of moving independently, of interacting with people and responding to their environment, and they are a source of new risks.
    Download the report


  • Automation by embedded software, remote control of heavy materials and connection of work equipment to local area networks and public networks such as the internet: the incorporation of an increasing amount of new technologies in work equipment is considered by some as the fourth industrial revolution and called “smart industry”. Apart from the opportunities for industry, it entails new risks for employees, but also for processes which could be disrupted or stopped by ill-intentioned people hacking into computers and information systems networks.
    Download the report

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