“Manufacturing Life” in Real Work Processes? New Manufacturing Environments with Micro- and Nanorobotics

António Brandão Moniz, Bettina Johanna Krings

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The convergence of nano-, bio-, information, and cognitive sciences and technologies (NBIC) is advancing continuously in many societal spheres. This also applies to the manufacturing sector, where technological transformations in robotics push the boundaries of human–machine interaction (HMI). Here, current technological advances in micro- and nanomanufacturing are accompanied by new socio-economic concepts for different sectors of the process industry. Although these developments are still ongoing, the blurring of the boundaries of HMI in processes at the micro- and nano- level can already be observed. According to the authors, these new socio-technical HMIs may lead to the development of new work environments, which can also have an impact on work organization. While there is still little empirical evidence, the following contribution focuses on the question whether the “manufacturing (or working) life” using enhancement practices pushes the boundaries of HMI and how these effects enable new modes of working in manufacturing. Issues of standardization, acceleration of processes, and order-oriented production become essential for technological innovation in this field. However, these trends tend to lead to a “manufacturing life” in work environments rather than to new modes of work in industry.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)115-131
Number of pages17
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2022


  • Blurring boundaries of HMI
  • Emerging technologies
  • Modes of work at micro- and nanoscale
  • Robotics


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