There are several different entities in the world that have the job of coming up with safety standards for the robotics world. These standards are decided by the Robotic Industries Association, in collaboration with the American National Standards Institute and the International ISO. While these standards have been in practice in many ways since 1999, there are now alignments in place to change safety standards in a way that may have not seemed possible in the late 1990s.
Robot-human collaboration is the latest in changes to the safety standards for the ANSI/RIA. Of course, this is comes as no surprise, due to the ever-evolving nature of the subject matter. Until this point, it was impossible for robots to work in direct collaboration with humans because the safety standards included many safeguards for robots, including cages and clearly marked operational areas that were to be avoided by human workers.
However, these standards for robotic safety are changing in the industry because of the innovations in robot sensors over the last few years. Now, robot systems are able to work without cages, in close proximity with human workers because of the use of motion and force control sensors that will cause a robot to slow down or pause if it senses something in its operational path. This cuts down on the threat of serious injuries to humans working closely with industrial robots.
While this kind of standard could be set for any robot that is fitted with force and motion limiting technologies, it is important to understand that robot safety standards are not the only ways to keep humans safe in a workplace. Proper training on the robotic system is also important for human-robot collaboration.
Are you interested in learning more about how robots can work in closer proximity with workers? If so, give RobotWorx a call. RobotWorx is a certified integrator for companies like KUKA, ABB, FANUC and Motoman. Our dedicated staff can work with you to find the right new or used robot system, along with the customizations needed to make sure it lives up to all of the robot safety standards on the books today.
If you would like to learn more, contact RobotWorx today at 740-251-4312.