Industry is interested in leveraging the dexterity and versatility of people and the precision and repeatability of robots by enabling collaboration in dynamic and reconfigurable manufacturing environments. Such collaborations, however, are not possible today. Robots are still not capable of safely interacting cooperatively with their human coworkers in highly variable task scenarios. This project will focus on developing the measurement science for characterizing and modeling interactions between humans and robots in flexible factory environments. Project results will improve quality control, productivity, and safety of both robots and humans.
To develop the measurement science for characterizing and modeling the safety of collaborations between humans and next-generation robots in flexible industrial production environments by 2014.
What is the new technical idea?
Current robot standards focus on making robots safe enough to operate in close proximity to humans. Collaborative robots use advanced sensors and mechanical designs to ensure they can observe and touch their environment safely, but guarantee safety only by limiting their interactions with humans. Manufacturers want to implement robotics in flexible factory environments in which the robots and people can move about freely to accommodate shifting production requirements. Successfully integrating next-generation collaborative robots with human coworkers rests on the capacity to measure and understand their interactions and react accordingly.
The new technical idea is to develop methods for modeling and evaluating the performance of safety systems for robots in flexible environments. This project will specifically develop
The test methods and metrics developed in this project will provide robot vendors and users with the confidence that collaborative robots are capable of providing the required levels of safety while maintaining the ability to work productively.
What is the research plan?
The project will develop and integrate sensor-, world-, and task-based models and procedures for the characterization of human-robot interactions for safety in flexible manufacturing environments. The research plan consists of the following component tasks:
Standards and Codes:
The work supports ISO TS 184/SC 2/WG 3 Industrial Safety for ISO TS 15066 (Robots and Robotic Devices – Collaborative Robots) and ANSI/Robotic Industries Association (RIA) 15.06, and the development of standards for industrial robot safety, Automated Ground Vehicle (AGV) safety, and knowledge representations for manufacturing environments. The measurement science developed in this project will form the basis for future standards that are anticipated to be needed for implementation of robotics in flexible factory floor environments.
Start Date:October 1, 2012
Lead Organizational Unit:el
Related Programs and Projects:
Jeremy Marvel, Project Leader
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