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Integrating Occlusion Monitoring into Human Tracking for Robot Speed and Separation Monitoring



William P. Shackleford, Sandor S. Szabo, Richard J. Norcross, Jeremy A. Marvel


Collaborative robots work in close proximity to humans to perform a variety of tasks, while more traditional industrial robots need to be shut down whenever a human enters its work-volume. Instead of relying on physical barriers or merely detecting when someone enters the area, the collaborative system must monitor the position of every person who enters the work space in time for the robot to fully react. The TC 184/SC 2/WG 3 Industrial Safety group within the International Standards Organization (ISO) is developing the standards to help ensure these robots operate safely. [1][2] These robots require sophisticated sensing technologies that must handle dynamic interactions between the robot and the human. One potential safety risk is occlusion of a sensor's view due to placement of objects or the movement of people in front of a sensor. In this situation the robot could shut down as soon as even a single sensor was partially occluded. Unfortunately this would greatly diminish the extent to which the robot could work collaboratively. In this paper we examine how a human tracking system using multiple laser line scanners [3] was adapted to work with a robot Speed and Separation Monitoring (SSM) safety system and further modified to include occlusion monitoring.
Proceedings Title
2012 Performance Metrics for Intelligent Systems Workshop
Conference Dates
March 20-22, 2012
Conference Location
College Park, MD


Human Tracking, Laser Line Scanners, Robotics, Safety


Shackleford, W. , Szabo, S. , Norcross, R. and Marvel, J. (2012), Integrating Occlusion Monitoring into Human Tracking for Robot Speed and Separation Monitoring, 2012 Performance Metrics for Intelligent Systems Workshop, College Park, MD, [online], (Accessed February 27, 2024)
Created May 16, 2012, Updated February 19, 2017