There are various ways of collaborating with a robot in the workspace as seen below.
Safety Supervised Stop
While this is one of the most fundamental ways, it could be the solution for non-cycle intensive applications, or circumstances where there is a notable perch amid cycles for the operator to retrieve or refill parts. Basically, this dictates that individuals utilize a safety enabled presence detecting gadget such as an Area Laser Scanner, or a safety mat to establish a human presence within a robot’s working space.
Upon triggering of the safety gadget, the robot will stop automatically rather than getting into the E-stop situation. The robot’s position will then be monitored continually in a division 3 safety ranked manner. Since this relies on external safety gadgets to stop the robot, many current robots can be utilized in this manner.
Unlike in E-stop where the system needs to be powered or cleared up fist before the robot continues operating, automatic stoppage allows it to continue operating once the workspace is cleared. This plays a major role when it comes to reducing robot cycle interruption, and also minimizes hardware wear and tear.
Here, an external gadget is utilized to change the direction and pressure applied by an operator’s hand into the robot’s motion at a defined safe speed. This is popularly utilized in teaching the robot paths and waypoints for various applications such as dispensing and welding.
Today, however, this method is hardly popular. Even then, it can be utilized in circumstances when the robot is used to move heavy loads using the operator’s visual guidance. Current advanced collaborative robots are well suited for this spectrum.
Separation and Speed Monitoring
This is a current advancement that needs a more sophisticated blend of robust knowledge on the risks that come with the application, an able robot safety interface, and a safety sensing technology.
Here, the robot work environment is divided into smaller segments depending on the magnitude of risk to an operator within the same environment. The environment is supervised by external safety gadgets connected to the robot’s safety interface.
Depending on the operator’s proximity to the robots, the acceleration, speed, and robot’s reach will be adjusted in a safety regulated model. This comes in handy when the robot is operating within a specific area for a considerable amount of its cycle and allowing the operators to execute their duties from other regulated areas.
Power and Force Limited
These robots are increasingly becoming popular by the day. They are specially designed to allow risk-free collaboration with human operators. Still, determining the magnitude of reasonable force especially gauging by the part of body affected.
It is easy to see that this collaboration model requires an exclusive type or controller and robot. This collaborative model can offer critical benefits compared to conventional robots when utilized for the ideal applications.
Force Limited Robots come with different specifications which vary from one manufacturer to the other. For instance, universal-robots.com utilized a proprietary blend of software and hardware for restricting the force generated from the tool plate notwithstanding its load or speed.
With these differences, one may have difficulties deciding the best robot for their needs. Individuals can find a variety of robots on the market today that meet their budget and expectations.
Whether one is in search for a cheap robot that can execute low speed and repeatability applications, or one that can regulate tool plate forces with precision, the current robots are standing in the gap for automation processes that conventional robots cannot execute.
Robot safety is a critical consideration that manufacturers should consider both for the worker and bottom line protection. Investing in robust safety facilities will save companies of major expenses that come with robot safety incidences. Collaborative robots are specially designed to allow for safe human and machine interaction that the conventional industrial robots. The evolution of robots is still ongoing to guarantee greater safety levels.