Collaborative robots are being designed as inherently safe to work around people. This involves new ideas for robotic arms including reducing their strength and speed, new types of joints, softer materials, and using advanced sensors to shut down the cobot safely if it accidentally collides with someone.
There are four types of collaborative robot features according to ISO 10218-1 and 10218-2.
Each of these features, individually, qualifies a robot as collaborative.
? The robot and human will operate in a shared work area. The robot must have internal sensors to detect contact and stop operation.
? The robot will have a safety-rated zone sensor that slows robot motion when a person enters a monitored zone and stop operation if a person approaches the robot’s work area
? Robot and human will have minimal interaction. The work cell will have electronic guarding (light curtain, pressure sensors, etc) to safely stop the robot when a person is detected inside the robot’s work envelope.
? The robot and human will not interact. The robot will be in a physically separated environment away from humans.
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