A collaborative robot interacts directly with a human in a defined cooperative workspace, which allows both to safely perform tasks simultaneously. This new frontier creates a wealth of new opportunities for robots and humans to work safely together.
A risk assessment is an important first step. As we’ve learned in our work with customers, the best approach is to let the robot adapt to humans.
Learn more about standards and the guidance they provide.
The latest international ISO 10218:2011 and U.S.-adopted ANSI/RIA R15.06-2012 safety standards are globally harmonized and identify four criteria for robots in a collaborative space; the robot must meet at least one of them:
● Safety-rated monitored stop
● Hand guiding
● Speed and separation monitoring
● Power and force limiting
Research programs like SAPHARI (Safe and Autonomous Physical Human-Aware Robot Interaction) are developing a new understanding of how collaborative workspaces can be successfully and safely implemented. Building off the PHRIENDS program, they are finding that a human-centric approach to integrating robotic technology is the best strategy.
Alessandro De Luca, Project Coordinator for SAPHARI, summarizes their most important finding: “Let the robot adapt to humans. We want to be able to distinguish between intentional contact and accidental collisions. The robot should recognize human gestures and motion intentions, with or without voice support in multimodal communication.”