Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

The impact of the fourth and fifth industrial revolution on the lives of people with disabilities

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
2.08.00  Engineering sciences and technologies  Telecommunications   

Code Science Field
T180  Technological sciences  Telecommunication engineering 

Code Science Field
2.02  Engineering and Technology  Electrical engineering, Electronic engineering, Information engineering 
Industrial revolution, Industry 4.0/5.0, Internet of things, disabled persons, living, employment, technical aids
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (10)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  50999  Maja Baloh  Geodesy  Researcher  2019 - 2021  12 
2.  17371  Jani Demšar  Geodesy  Researcher  2019 - 2021  154 
3.  39055  Franc Drobnič  Computer science and informatics  Researcher  2019 - 2020 
4.  25402  PhD Jože Guna  Communications technology  Researcher  2019 - 2021  226 
5.  16386  PhD Andrej Kos  Computer science and informatics  Head  2019 - 2021  687 
6.  35084  MSc Luka Mali  Telecommunications  Researcher  2019 - 2020  65 
7.  36688  Klemen Pečnik  Telecommunications  Researcher  2019 - 2021  32 
8.  05892  PhD Dalibor Radovan  Geodesy  Researcher  2019 - 2021  536 
9.  10869  MSc Roman Rener  Geodesy  Researcher  2019 - 2021  102 
10.  24314  PhD Tomaž Žagar  Geodesy  Researcher  2019 - 2021  69 
Organisations (2)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  0246  Geodetic Institute of Slovenia  Ljubljana  5051649000  1,810 
2.  1538  University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Electrical Engineering  Ljubljana  1626965  27,578 
THE BACKGROUND The task has technological and social background. The technological background of the project is the fourth industrial revolution we have already entered, while the fifth technological revolution is only predicted at the level of the general social and philosophical concept. Industry 4.0 / 5.0, which is their materialization, consists of a combination of technologies such as the Internet of things, people and machines, Internet of services, artificial intelligence, augmented and virtual reality, cloud computing, big data, linked data, sensor networks, location based services, cognitive computing, wearable and ubiquitous computing. The interoperable use of smart devices and applications will fundamentally change humanity, and gradually even embroider Earth into sensors and telecommunication connections. The characteristic of all industrial revolutions is a bold transition to new technologies and hence the change of existing paradigms of living and working. Digitization and virtualization of everything will have a huge impact on all segments of the population; therefore, it is necessary to prepare vulnerable social groups that are unwilling or unable to accept the changes. The sociological background is the existing policy, the categorization of people with disabilities and the accompanying business model, by which the present society seeks to help vulnerable groups. In the case of people with disabilities, this is a system of social transfers that provide persons with disabilities with social assistance, personal assistance, technical tools, communication allowance, adapted education and jobs, and architectural adjustments in the urban environment. The degree of disability in Europe is between 10 and 15%, with the status of disabled in Slovenia about 8% of the population. Depending on the level of disability, part of this population is employable, although it is hard to find work. The remaining part of the disabled is unable to work, and in accordance with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, it is necessary to ensure a better and more independent way of life for them in a non-discriminatory manner. PROBLEM DEFINITION Technologies to facilitate the lives and work of people with disabilities are currently under development and are first targeted to the population without any disability. Development for disabled people can only begin after this, because it requires a number of adjustments to the types and categories of people with disabilities, although the categories are not yet interdisciplinary and interdepartmentaly accepted, but depend on the policy and purpose of the use. The new industrial revolution will further increase social disparities. It will be necessary to protect the ethical, legal and economic status of people with disabilities in an additional way or in some other way. In doing so, technical accessories are not free, and their purchase, hire or other use depends on the business model of manufacturers coming from the global market. The development of technology for a small and pay-poor population is not economically viable if the society as a whole (ie. the state with its institutions) is not engaged. PROJECT OBJECTIVES The objectives of the project are multifaceted and require a compromise between technology, society and the needs of a disabled person. It is necessary to record and evaluate the technologies of the two new industrial revolutions and to determine how they can improve the living and employment opportunities for the disabled. It is necessary to redefine the concept of disability, disability type and category of disability. It should be borne in mind that disabled people are not the only vulnerable group with special needs, and that other vulnerable members of the population need technical aids and other forms of health and social assistance, too. The aim of the project is to explore the typical scenarios of living and working situations of the
Significance for science
The task is of an applicative nature and combines two different fields of science: technology and social sciences. From the technical point of view, it deals with the research of the high technologies of Industry 4.0, which are currently the subject of smart specialization, smart cities and other similar initiatives, and of course the subject of research in information science, artificial intelligence, telecommunications, interoperability and cybernetic systems. Industry 4.0 includes technologies that are currently under development but have not yet reached the terminal threshold of development: Internet of Things, People and Machines, augmented and virtual reality, cloud computing, sensor networks, location based services, wearable and ubiquitous computing, big data and cognitive computing. They are all potentially useful for the disabled living and / or working environment, but they require a lot of research of ergonomic adaptations to the disabled, making applications, and especially the design of education for the disabiled people. Therefore, the subject of research is also the types and ways of implementing such training. All technologies must first be tested on the normal population, and then on the disabled, so all the research challenges here are duplicated. All this requires the testing of user experience (Ux). Research on technological devices therefore encompasses the development of technologies, the optimization of the operation of technologies, the adaptation of people with disabilities, and from the point of view of the public administration, the invention of business models, which will fund technological development on the one hand, and on the other, enable funding from the institutions responsible for assistance to the disabled. As several of the technologies of Industry 4.0 are still at the beginning of development, it is difficult to foresee all possible uses at this time, especially when we talk about Industry 5.0, which is more an expression of the new industrial revolution and the technological concept of the future society (including cities and factories of the future, and companies without physical, urban, social and process waste). From a social point of view, the task is of a more practical nature, but it involves the study of cognitive processes performed by the disabled in their everyday life and potential employment. The behavior of a disabled person depends on the type and category of disability. The cognitive strategies used by a disabled person to carry out an everyday task can be completely different from the strategies of a sensory and mentally able person. The reason is the disability, which prevents the usual work done, therefore such a person needs the help of another person or a technical device. Even such assistance does not allow the normal execution of a task, but usually only reduces the disability. From the point of view of the development of cognitive, sociological, behavioral and psychological sciences, the behavior of people with disabilities is therefore an extremely interesting field, since it is necessary to anticipate the cognitive responses of the disabled to the everyday situations of living and working in circumstances where one or more human sensory systems are unable to react normally. If we know a cognitive response, we can adjust the use of a technical device, and the more so, the opposite is true. It has been proven (Radovan, 2009) that the characteristics of technical aids determine the human behavior strategy and also their effectiveness (eg. compass and GPS determine two completely different navigation strategies). So, the right choice of the device results in a changed strategy for the behavior of the disabled person. If a technical device is properly manufactured and selected, the person with disabilities will successfully overcome or mitigate its disability. For science, qualitative and quantitative assessment of the performance of the technical device, the degree
Significance for the country
The project will be useful for the development of the economy in order to promote two positive activities: (1) the development of applications and technologies of the fourth and fifth industrial revolution, and (2) increasing the employment of disabled people. Industries 4.0 / 5.0 applications and technologies, like any other branch of ICT, are developed first for the general population of users, and in the customized version, then for the disabled. Some technologies can be developed for several different types and categories of disability. The problem is that the number of users is about 5 to 10 times smaller than the general population, but the market is global. At the same time, they are high technology with high added value, where developed platforms can be used with some modification to develop several smart services at the same time and for several types of users. The development of applications for people with disabilities requires innovation and interdisciplinary research in several fields of expertise, both technological and social. The development of applications and services for Industry 4.0 for disabled people has exceptional future potential also in smart specialization services, especially in the areas of smart cities and communities, smart buildings, the circular economy, energy, mobility, e-health, e-government, transport and logistics, quality urban living and security. All these areas are and will also be part of the disabled person's everyday life. With the advent of new technologies in the automotive industry, for example, real-time location based services are also important for navigating self-propelled cars, and before that, similar navigation services can also be developed for blind, visually impaired and physically impaired. All new technologies are also important for the development of start-up IT companies. Given the fact that in Europe between 10 and 15% of the population is in some way or other way disabled by physical or mental disorders and the number of employed disabled persons is less than half of that, the potential of the workforce for the economy is relatively large, but it is not without relatively high risks. As regards the employment of people with disabilities due to the deployment of Industry 4.0 technologies, three aspects of potential benefits can be addressed: (a) increasing and facilitating employment of disabled through the introduction of new technologies into existing work processes, (b) starting employment of previously unemployable disabled people in new or adapted processes, and (c) employment of disabled in factories of the future, where the entire production for all employees will be adapted to the technologies of Industry 4.0. The first aspect aims at the increase in employment for the disabled. On the one hand, this means new jobs for employers, on the other hand, the risk for them due to the necessary adjustments to the working environment, training and deployment. By means of a deliberate policy of employment, education, state support and proper job creation that correspond, on the one hand, to the abilities of the disabled, and on the other hand to the needs of the employer, a positive side and a benefit for the economy can prevail. The second aspect means that new generation technologies enable the employability of people with disabilities, who until now have not been employable due to excessive disability. In this case, new forms of employment and jobs can be created, which can only be used for people with disabilities of a particular type and category, but not for the rest of the population. This option is primarily a benefit for the state and partly relieving the welfare state. The third aspect is apparently still far in the future, as smart factories are still in the prototype phase. Ubiquitous computing and sensor networks at the factories of the future will have a similar effect in the long-term for the work of the disabled, as with the second aspect. This
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