New safety guidelines for working with robots

Universal Robots
Friday, 26 February, 2016

The International Organisation for Standardization (ISO) has published the long-awaited ISO/TS 15066 as a supplementary document to support the ISO 10218 ‘Safety Requirements for Industrial Robots’ standard.

ISO/TS 15066 is a comprehensive document to help integrators of robotic cells conduct risk assessments when installing collaborative robots.

“When the last revision of the ISO 10218 standards came out back in 2011, they were focused on traditional industrial robots — collaborative robots were still a new technology and not addressed in detail. We are pleased that the industry with ISO/TS 15066 now has received additional published specifications to guide the implementation of cobots operating safely with humans,” said Lasse Kieffer, Universal Robots’ global compliance officer and member of the ISO/TS 15066 committee.

ISO/TS 15066 describes the different collaborative concepts and details the requirements to achieve these. In addition to design and risk assessment requirements, it also presents a research study on pain thresholds versus robot speed, pressure and impact for specific body parts.

“Our robots feature adjustable safety functions to comply with these guidelines. ISO/TS 15066 represents the consensus reached between member countries on an emerging technology. We acknowledge that the world needs a conservative approach towards robot safety, but there is still a lot of ongoing research on safe human-robot interactions and how to define practical guidelines in order to unleash the full potential of collaborative robots. We look forward to following this work as it evolves,” said Universal Robots CTO Esben Østergaard.

The patented safety system of UR robots features eight adjustable safety functions, joint positions and speeds, TCP positions, tool orientation, speed and force, as well as the momentum and power of the robot.

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