Every big car factory has thousands of robots working in it – there is nothing new there. Robots are helpful when it comes to welding and assembling parts. But did you know virtual robots can be useful for those working in offices too? Audi is now developing bots to carry out monotonous tasks for employees at PC workstations.
If you ever worked in an office setting, you know that a lot of the tasks you have to complete are so monotonous and boring that a well-trained monkey could do them. In fact, a well-trained monkey sometimes could do them better, because humans get so fed up with those kind of tasks they become numb and do not pay attention anymore. Audi wants to free up its employees to do more demanding, complex, value-adding tasks. And that’s why it is developing virtual robots-colleagues.
Audi myMate – that’s the name of that virtual robot-coworker. While assembly lines are already inhabited by robots-coworkers, Audi myMate is going to be the first to help those stuck and PC workstations. At first Audi myMate had to complete the pilot stage, but in August it was already in use in asset accounting and later it started helping with booking capital goods in the system. So far four such robots are working, but in the near future there will be much more of them. If these initial stages will go according to plan, Audi is likely to hire many of these virtual robots to take monotonous tasks from real human employees.
Robotic process automation (RPA) process was started last year. Robots are now taking tasks that would otherwise bog-down human workers. Now people can focus on more demanding tasks such as analyzing the recorded data, while robots are filling gaps in documents with repeated information. And don’t think about robots pushing away human workers – people are happy to give away these tasks to Audi myMate.
Dr. Bernd Martens, Member of the Board of Management for Procurement and IT, said: “With the introduction of RPA, we are pushing forward the digitalization of our business. We are using bots to make our processes more efficient and faster, and at the same time are giving our employees more time for more interesting work – a win-win situation for everyone”.
People are going to be working with more and more robots. In some cases it is worrying. We want to have jobs to be able to provide for our families. But at the same time no one wants to work a boring job at a PC workstation. You want to create something that machines are incapable of making. And in those positions your job is safe.