Editor's Note

Editor's Note: The robots are here

I grew up watching reruns of “Lost in Space” on a local UHF channel, so when I hear the word “robot,” that show’s robot is what comes to mind.

The image of Robot (I just did a Google search to confirm the name) rolling into a scene with its mechanical arms waving is one of the things my sister and I joked about years ago as she was bracing herself to undergo robot-assisted surgery after a cancer diagnosis.

The surgical technology (which, of course, doesn’t look like anything from a 1960s TV show) was new at the time, but we took comfort in the fact that the surgeon was a nationally known expert on its use. The five-hour procedure was a success, and my sister’s family and friends will always be grateful for the technology that helped save her life.

This month in Safety+Health, Susan Vargas explores the use of robots in the workplace, and how their growing popularity and increasing sophistication have been met with both enthusiasm and apprehension.

Susan describes the benefits robots can bring to industry (including doing jobs no one else wants to do) and speaks with experts about the safety implications of these machines working side by side with humans.

She also talks with the CEO of a company whose workplace uses robots about how part of his job includes reassuring workers that they’ll be protected from physical harm and overcoming their fears that robots are coming to take their jobs.

S+H will keep an eye on this growing trend as safety professionals, robotics experts and researchers continue to look for ways to help humans and robots interact safely.

Melissa J. Ruminski The opinions expressed in “Editor’s Note” do not necessarily reflect those of the National Safety Council or affiliated local Chapters.

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