Tampere University's SIE workshop on robotics and automation visualizing the future of Finnish industry

Teollisuuden hitsausrobotti.

The workshop organized by Tampere University (TAU) on robotics and automation/human collaboration took place on 27th September 2021. It included 32 participants, both company representatives and researchers. The main objective of the workshop was to identify the challenges and requirements for Finnish industry sector under the light of sustainability and technological innovation.

The workshop’s agenda included useful interventions from industry representatives, as well as discussions on future challenges and conditions regarding Finnish Industry within the scope of sustainability and innovation.

The discussions were based on interactive tasks to enable discussion and participation. The first task focused on the characteristics, capabilities and resources necessary for companies by 2025.

Companies’ operating environments are changing

The participants highlighted various points. According to the discussion, operating environments of companies will go through many changes. One of the main aspects will be the increasing use of robots. Consequently, automatization levels will increase, as well. Data management and sensor development (both vital aspects in the development of automation systems) are going to get even more attention to support efficient robot utilization.

New business models are going to emerge, that is why traditional capabilities and competences will not be enough. There will be a need for a creative redesign of standard skills to encompass aspects of the new reality.

Robotics, digital twins and AI are essential in the future

The second focal point was on year 2035. Participants agreed that the extent of changes by then will be even greater. Robots will be an essential part of manufacturing processes which will be further supported by digital twins. Artificial Intelligence will prevail. This development will call for advanced human-machine cooperation.

In the final part of the workshop, participants were invited to share their feelings and thoughts for Vision 2030. Vision 2030 envisages Finland as the sustainable winner in the twin transition. Most of the participants considered the vision ambitious with potential of strong cooperation, while at the same time a need for a more detailed roadmap was expressed.

The workshop was successful at accomplishing its main goal: getting valuable input from various company representatives visualizing the future of Finnish Industry.

Text: Panagiota Kalpakidou, Tampere University
Photo: Shutterstock