Fast-moving ABB robots employ a variety of safety features to keep workers safe from accidents. ABB recently expanded its SafeMove software technology to help ensure factory-fl oor safety.
Putting Safety First in Robotic Automation
New ISO safety specifi cation helps automation developers design safer robots for close encounters on the factory fl oor
Patrick Waurzyniak Senior Editor
ince the start of robotics, safety has ranked as the top priority for robotic automation developers. Besides being the fi rst item in Isaac Asimov’s Three Laws of Robotics, taking the “do no harm” approach is pretty much mandatory with the speed and strength of today’s indus- trial robots that are most widely used for heavy lifting on automo- tive assembly lines and other industrial manufacturing venues. But with the advent of newer collaborative-type robots that have lately come on the scene, the rules of robotics are being rewritten with new specifi cations updating how to include these smaller, lower-payload, slower-speed robots that can work side-by-side with workers on assembly lines. The ISO/TS 15066 technical specifi cation was refreshed with the publication in February 2016 of the ISO/TS 15066 technical spec that gives robotic automation developers and users specifi c new guidelines for design and proper implementation practices for deploying new collaborative robots on the shop fl oor.