Safety considerations for multi-purpose robots in industrial environments

Research output: Book/ReportReport

Abstract

Utilization of Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMRs) is heavily increasing in industrial applications. AMRs are mostly used in internal logistic functions for delivering e.g. components, products and pallets in production and warehouses. AMRs can avoid collisions with humans and obstacles. In case of people or obstacles on AMRs’ way they stop safely without causing any severe safety incidents.
In order to increase utilisation rate of AMRs and their profitability, an increasing number of companies develop multi-purpose robots (“MUROs”). In this study, we concentrate on MUROs in which a cobot is attached onto a mobile platform. However, while developing new MUROs, also new safety risks may emerge. Still current standards as well as safety engineering and risk assessment methods cover mobile platforms and cobots separately. Then, some risks may remain unidentified and will not be managed in a sufficient way.
This paper outlines central MURO related standards and identify potential new
emerging risks that mobile platforms with cobots may cause. Three AMR-cobot combination scenarios and related relevant standards are identified. The most demanding and the most new risks causing scenario is that both the platform and the arm are simultaneously in move. In that scenario, e.g. stability of the platform may be compromised and the extended and moving arm may cause collisions. As a result, this paper brings up new safety considerations related to multi-purpose robots and inspires further R&D on the topic.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherVTT Technical Research Centre of Finland
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 26 Sep 2022
MoE publication typeD4 Published development or research report or study

Publication series

SeriesVTT White Paper
Number26.9.2022

Keywords

  • robot
  • mobile robots
  • Safety

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