Are collaborative robots safe?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle in a proceedings journalScientificpeer-review

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Abstract

Collaborative robots (cobots) market is supposed to increase rapidly. Although cobots are safer than their ancestors, industrial robots, there are some safety issues. The risk assessment for cobots is difficult since the cobots are working beside humans. In most of the applications the cobots can be safe. Sharp tools or objects and risk of impact to head are excluded from the common applications due to their risks. The common idea is to apply power and force limitation to ensure safe performance of cobots. The speed of the robot has huge effect on the impact force. Speed reduction with adequate safety controls can decrease the impact force to acceptable level in most of the applications. If there are severe risks in the robot cell, then it is possible to apply adequate separation distance between human and robot or safety-rated monitored stop to ensure safety and relatively close vicinity between human and the robot. One issue is that the stopping performance is complex and currently it is difficult to predict. Quite often, the validation requires impact force/pressure measurements or impact modelling.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages8
JournalOpen Engineering
Issue numberAutomation in Finland 2019 Special Issue
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 15 Aug 2019
MoE publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
EventAutomaatiopäivät23 - Oulu, Finland
Duration: 15 May 201916 May 2019

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Robots
Force measurement
Industrial robots
Pressure measurement
Risk assessment

Keywords

  • functional safety
  • collaborative robots
  • safety requirements
  • levels of collaboration

Cite this

Malm, T., Salmi, T., Marstio, I., & Aaltonen, I. (Accepted/In press). Are collaborative robots safe? Open Engineering, (Automation in Finland 2019 Special Issue).
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Are collaborative robots safe? / Malm, Timo; Salmi, Timo; Marstio, Ilari; Aaltonen, Iina.

In: Open Engineering, No. Automation in Finland 2019 Special Issue, 15.08.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle in a proceedings journalScientificpeer-review

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T1 - Are collaborative robots safe?

AU - Malm, Timo

AU - Salmi, Timo

AU - Marstio, Ilari

AU - Aaltonen, Iina

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N2 - Collaborative robots (cobots) market is supposed to increase rapidly. Although cobots are safer than their ancestors, industrial robots, there are some safety issues. The risk assessment for cobots is difficult since the cobots are working beside humans. In most of the applications the cobots can be safe. Sharp tools or objects and risk of impact to head are excluded from the common applications due to their risks. The common idea is to apply power and force limitation to ensure safe performance of cobots. The speed of the robot has huge effect on the impact force. Speed reduction with adequate safety controls can decrease the impact force to acceptable level in most of the applications. If there are severe risks in the robot cell, then it is possible to apply adequate separation distance between human and robot or safety-rated monitored stop to ensure safety and relatively close vicinity between human and the robot. One issue is that the stopping performance is complex and currently it is difficult to predict. Quite often, the validation requires impact force/pressure measurements or impact modelling.

AB - Collaborative robots (cobots) market is supposed to increase rapidly. Although cobots are safer than their ancestors, industrial robots, there are some safety issues. The risk assessment for cobots is difficult since the cobots are working beside humans. In most of the applications the cobots can be safe. Sharp tools or objects and risk of impact to head are excluded from the common applications due to their risks. The common idea is to apply power and force limitation to ensure safe performance of cobots. The speed of the robot has huge effect on the impact force. Speed reduction with adequate safety controls can decrease the impact force to acceptable level in most of the applications. If there are severe risks in the robot cell, then it is possible to apply adequate separation distance between human and robot or safety-rated monitored stop to ensure safety and relatively close vicinity between human and the robot. One issue is that the stopping performance is complex and currently it is difficult to predict. Quite often, the validation requires impact force/pressure measurements or impact modelling.

KW - functional safety

KW - collaborative robots

KW - safety requirements

KW - levels of collaboration

M3 - Article in a proceedings journal

JO - Open Engineering

JF - Open Engineering

SN - 2391-5439

IS - Automation in Finland 2019 Special Issue

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Malm T, Salmi T, Marstio I, Aaltonen I. Are collaborative robots safe? Open Engineering. 2019 Aug 15;(Automation in Finland 2019 Special Issue).