The Operator of the Future

Many companies in the manufacturing industry are already transitioning towards a digital, smart industry paradigm, and more will do so in the near future. This transition will have a great impact on production processes and on the people who are part of these processes. Newly adopted technologies will increase the demand for employees with the necessary knowledge and skills. The Operator of the Future project addresses this challenge and aims to contribute to a ‘smart’ collaboration between humans and technology.

The project consists of three main activities:

  1. Inspiration and demonstration events, featuring examples of robot cells (online and onsite at TU Delft’s SAM|XL) and a road map to get companies started with collaborative robots (also known as cobots), automated guided vehicles (AGVs) , augmented reality (AR), and virtual reality (VR)
  2. Online and practical employee training with cobots, AGVs and AR/VR
  3. Practical training for professional teachers, including relevant didactic materials for students.

This project is funded by the Metropolitan Region of The Hague; therefore, its specific aim is to boost innovation –through digitalisation within the regional economy by getting local companies to implement future-proof technologies. While rooted regionally, this project has a larger scope due to the lifelong learning objectives for employees and teachers involved in the SMITZH programme.

This project is part of KIC EIT Manufacturing, funded by the European Union.


Matthijs Netten

Project manager

Jasper Henny


  • Gemeente Delft
  • RoboAcademy (Delft Projectmanagement B.V.)
  • TU Delft – Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering
  • SAM | XL (Smart Advanced Manufacturing XL)
  • Digital Operations Centre (ROC Mondriaan college)
  • Holland Instrumentation
  • FME
  • Pilz