Tomorrow's Working World – Two RWTH Proposals Approved
In 2017, the University Competition “Year of Science 2018 – Tomorrow’s Working World” invited early career scientists to submit proposals for projects that seek interactively to communicate the goals of university research and illustrate its societal relevance. Two projects developed by Aachen researchers, “ErgoCAM” and “Escape Room,” have now been approved to receive 10,000 euros in funding each.
The competition, which receives funding from the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, has been initiated by “Wissenschaft im Dialog,” WiD for short. In December 2018, the jury will review the 15 funded projects to decide which team has come up with the best project implementation.
With its capability to analyze human movements and activities in real time, ErgoCAM assists employees in designing healthy and productive work and workplaces. The tool makes it possible for employees to design their work activities in an ergonomic fashion.
ErgoCAM was developed by an interdisciplinary team in the Ergonomics and Human-Machine Systems department at the Institute of Industrial Engineering and Ergonomics, IAW for short. Dr. Christopher Brandl, Tobias Hellig, Laura Johnen, Oliver Brunner, Daniel Ast, David Dohlen and Dr. Alexander Mertens contributed to the project.
The project simulates a prototypical workplace in production of a small-to-medium enterprise in a scenario similar to an “escape room” game. With the help of various digital tools and new technologies, groups of up to five people have to solve typical production-related, quality-relevant problems. Team members decide on how to best use the available tools to complete the tasks at hand as soon as possible and achieve a position among the “top teams.”
The “gamified” setup is designed to illustrate the practical application of research outcomes to various target groups. More concretely, the various use scenarios for digital tools and new technologies highlight the stepwise transformation on the path towards the workplace of the future, and they demonstrate how staff can be trained ‘on the job’ to apply new technologies.
Starting in October 2018, the Escape Room can be booked by schools and companies. The project, which has been developed with participation from Dr. Ina Heine, Maximilian Rüßmann, Tobias Adam, Thomas Hellebrandt, Rebecca Lauther, Sait Başkaya, and Rebecca Reschke, is coordinated by Amelie Metzmacher.