Survey on collaborative robot adoption clearly indicated that safety and viability based on cost and speed are the biggest concerns over collaborative robot adoption. This project set about demystifying those concerns by understanding the principles of the standards and designing a shared human robot workspace which can be made viable without adding significant cost or installation of safety barriers based on a generic application
Using a Physical Demonstrator, prove that in a shared workspace where the operator and robot need to coexist, the collaborative cell can compete with a fully manual cell in terms of ease of setup, low cost of additional equipment and productivity, while ensuring the safety of the operator
Phase1 of this project identified operating zones where the risks of a collision or impact went from no risk to minor risk to major risk and altered the robot and speed in each zone so that the robot impact on the human causes no injury. While the phase passed a third party risk assessment, cycle times were too long to make it viable. This phase set about reducing cycle time, while maintaining the necessary safety features, by:
In using a standard collaborative robot and a generic application, the research dispels some of the biggest concerns in Industry around safety of collaborative cells and their ability to perform as productively as an equivalent fully manual cell. As the cell is risk assessed by an external partner this project translates the requirements of the standards into a physical demonstrator to which industry can relate and understand.
Senior Robotics Researcher
Robotics and Automation