Clinic Overview

The Automation Clinic is an applied research and education program to understand how organizations make new technologies work in practice. MIT researchers and their partners work with organizations to learn the problems they aim to solve with new technologies, the challenges they face in deploying them, and the consequences for their workers, customers, and society. The aim is to train engineers and managers in what we call “positive-sum automation,” or technology that improves productivity for organizations while also increasing flexibility for workers.

Industry Collaborations

Teams of researchers and graduate students conduct field research with companies deploying automation technologies. MIT teams focus on understanding how firms overcome obstacles to scaling automation. The goals of this work are: a) to educate engineers-in-training about the challenges of technology implementation, and b) discover best practices that can motivate technology design and adoption.

Regional Partnerships

Although the automation clinic has focused primarily on companies near MIT, our team has begun to develop partnerships with firms and educational institutions in other regions. Regional automation clinic partners can participate in MIT's educational programming remotely while performing field research in their backyard.

Factories on the Frontier

Based on our research studying how firms deploy new technologies, Clinic researchers are producing case studies of best practices in deploying automation. In addition to written case studies and publications, our documentary series, Factories on the Frontier, features companies that have excelled in "positive-sum automation."

Factories on the Frontier