Unsettled Issues on Human-Robot Collaboration and Automation in
Aerospace Manufacturing EPR2020024
This SAE EDGE™ Research Report builds a comprehensive picture of the current
state-of-the-art of human-robot applications, identifying key issues to unlock
the technology’s potential. It brings together views of recognized thought
leaders to understand and deconstruct the myths and realities of human- robot
collaboration, and how it could eventually have the impact envisaged by
Current thinking suggests that the emerging technology of human-robot
collaboration provides an ideal solution, combining the flexibility and skill of
human operators with the precision, repeatability, and reliability of robots.
Yet, the topic tends to generate intense reactions ranging from a “brave new
future” for aircraft manufacturing and assembly, to workers living in fear of a
robot invasion and lost jobs.
It is widely acknowledged that the application of robotics and automation in
aerospace manufacturing is significantly lower than might be expected. Reasons
include product variability, size, design philosophy, and relatively low
volumes. Also, the occasional reticence due to a history of past false starts
plays a role too.
Unsettled Issues on Human-Robot Collaboration and Automation in Aerospace
Manufacturing goes deep into the core questions that really matter so
the necessary step changes can move the industry forward.