While working with robots, the safety of humans working is of utmost priority, especially when humans and robots are working next to each other and are not separated from each other by means of safety fencing. The IFF web-based design tool that at The Fraunhofer Institute for Factory Operation and Automation helps companies design their cobots. The design of the Cobot helps minimize risk of accidents and elevate employee safety. The tool is available freely as a web application.
Meanwhile, robots and humans are sharing workspace in more than one sector from manufacturing to logistics and medicine. But, for all, safety is key. So far, range-finders on robots prevent severe impact or crushing when collisions occur. However, the sensors fail to perform when machines and humans have to be closely placed to each other, for example – subassembly. This necessitates other solutions.
For a possible solution to this, scientific teams at Fraunhofer IFF have developed a web-based application – the Cobot Designer. The design tool helps programmers to design cobots safely.
Importantly, for safety consideration of businesses, acquiring cobots legally requires risk-assessment. Companies need to identify specific potential risks and need to beforehand assess foreseeable misuse by employees. The maximum permissible speed of a robot is measured only when it is certified for safety. A special device calculates impact forces and pressure experienced when anyone comes in contact with the robot. The standard ISO/TS 15066 limit may not be exceeded. Or else, the speed of robots would have to be reduced to prevent injuries related to clamping or impact. This measurement is expensive and requires expertise. For such considerations, the robots must be programmed and constructed.