From iRobot to R2D2 to Star Trek’s Data, the concept of robots and humans working together has always been part of the science-fiction world. Below, Philip the co-bot carries on this tradition as we continue our comic-book vision of the Future of Work.

For years, robots have taken on repetitive, dangerous, or heavy jobs in auto assembly plants and other manufacturing settings—but always fenced off from humans for safety reasons. Now collaborative robots—or co-bots—are working side-by-side with human workers. They may do anything from flipping burgers to moving goods around a warehouse.  But one thing is certain: human-robot collaboration is here to stay.

Will there be uncertainties as humans and machines evolve together? Of course. In fact, one reason we’re doing this comic book series is to help us think in a concrete way about potential pitfalls. By envisioning various versions of the future, we can help create the future we want.

How technology can augment human workers is just one of the concepts we’ll be exploring in our living lab on the Future of Work. The Cisco Hyperinnovation Living Labs (CHILL) team, Cisco’s innovation catalyst, is currently looking for visionary companies to join us for two days of rapid innovation to help design the Future of Work. Join the conversation via Twitter @katecokeeffe or in the comments below.

Now let’s rejoin our heroine Gail, as she deals with her own set of uncertainties….

To catch up on the story from the beginning, see part 1 and part 2.


The evolving worker:

Skill sets evolve; collaboration and socialization with artificial intelligence and robots are highly valued.


The gig economy rises, giving workers and companies more freedom.




Kate O'Keeffe

Senior Director

Customer and Partner Innovation