Mankind Within the Production of the Future


As part of the MINT-EC Production Technology Camp, senior high school students experienced what the production of the future will bring at IAW – Institut für Arbeitswissenschaft (Institute of Industrial Engineering and Ergonomics). The age simulation suit GERT gave them an impression of what it feels like to be 30 years older. In the "Software Ergonomics" workshop, participants created a user interface for controlling an industrial robot. This interface was then analyzed for usability by using eye tracking.


Production of the Future at the MINT-EC Production Technology Camp

For the second time, the “Integrative Produktionstechnik für Hochlohnländer” (Integrative Production Technology for High-Wage Countries) Cluster of Excellence of RWTH Aachen University organized the "MINT-EC Camp Production Technology" from November 8 to November 11, 2017 in cooperation with the Verein mathematisch-naturwissenschaftlicher Excellence-Center an Schulen e.V. (Association of Mathematical and Scientific Excellence Centers at Schools). Numerous workshops were held to spark interest of 23 students from more than 10 different schools across Germany in engineering sciences and production technology. The IAW participated in the MINT-EC Camp with a half-day workshop on the topic of "Mankind in the production of the future". There were two workshops in which students were able to interactively experience how production will change in the future.


Age-Appropriate Production

  Age simulation suit being put on a person © IAW Age simulation suit GERT

The age simulation suit GERT provided participants with an impression of how it feels to be approximately 30 years older. A restricted field of vision and weights on the joints reducing mobility made it clear that it becomes increasingly difficult to move around or even perform fine motor activities with  advanced age. On the background of age-appropriate production participants were able to experience first-hand that employees must receive support to be able to be kept at work as long as possible and hereby to avoid the industry being drained of knowledge and experience.


Software Ergonomics in Industry

  Several people are standing in front of a screen © IAW Software analysis using eye tracking

After a short introduction to ergonomic software design, participants were then able to design a user interface for controlling an industrial robot. Particular attention was to be paid to aspects of software usability that they had previously been introduced to. The result was then jointly evaluated and analyzed within the group by means of eye tracking.