Allocation of Function Revisited: The Use of Animals in Productive Processes and Systems

  • David O’NeillEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing book series (AISC, volume 824)


An examination of work systems outside the normal remit of ergonomics has revealed that the framework for the allocation of function should be expanded from human-machine system interactions to further include animal and environment interactions. Examples are given, mainly from agriculture, that point to the need for animal ergonomics. Brief reviews of some tasks in the security and health sectors ratify the use of animals, which is considered alongside the possible use cobots. The cases presented in this return visit to the allocation of function support the development of a sub-discipline of animal ergonomics with similar broad areas of physical cognitive and organizational factors. The review also suggests that companion and service, animals, particularly those for sensory detection, are unlikely to be displaced by cobots in the near future.


Animal ergonomics Work output Biomechanics Sensory perception Robots 



I would like to acknowledge the inputs and influences of many collaborators and colleagues and whose indirect contributions have led to this paper. However, I am solely responsible for the content and accuracy of the data and their interpretations.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Dave O’Neill AssociatesBedfordUK

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