SYMPOSIA PAPER Published: 19 May 2016

The Safety-to-Autonomy Curve: An Incremental Approach to Introducing Automation to the Workforce


An explicit focus on safety first can help accelerate the adoption of robotics and intelligent automation technology across many sectors of the economy. The safety-to-autonomy approach to introducing automation in the workplace provides a glide path that allows businesses to leverage the benefits of new technology at the pace they are comfortable with and that they can sustain, while realizing return on investment from day one. The transition to large-scale adoption of intelligent automation starts with sensorized industrial equipment that provides active safety features to immediately curb accident rates. They continuously collect data and model how humans use them in existing processes. As businesses become comfortable with these augmented machines, additional autonomous functionality can be enabled incrementally, supported by the information learned from observing human operators over time. Focusing on safety can provide the glide path for businesses to embrace the robot revolution across all sectors.

Author Information

Theobald, Daniel
Vecna Technologies, Inc., Cambridge, MA, US
Heger, Frederik
Vecna Technologies, Inc., Cambridge, MA, US
Price: $25.00
Contact Sales
Reprints and Permissions
Reprints and copyright permissions can be requested through the
Copyright Clearance Center
Developed by Committee: F45
Pages: 82–90
DOI: 10.1520/STP159420150053
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-7634-8
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-7633-1