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Robots in close Co-operation with Persons - a Contribution to Safety Sensors for Service Robots

: Schraft, R.D.; Merklinger, A.

McGinnis, L.F.; Ahmad, M.M.; Sullivan, W.G. ; Georgia Institute of Technology, Manufacturing Research Center, Atlanta:
Flexible Automation and Intelligent Manufacturing 1996. Proceedings of the Sixth International FAIM Conference
New York, USA; Wallingford, UK: Begell House, 1996
ISBN: 1-56700-067-3
International Conference on Flexible Automation and Intelligent Manufacturing (FAIM) <6, 1996, Atlanta/Ga.>
Conference Paper
Fraunhofer IPA ()
Industrieroboter; Mensch-Maschine-System; Roboter; sensor; Serviceroboter; Sicherheit

Numerous industrial robots for welding, material flow tasks, painting, inspection, assembly and disassembly applications are installed or are going to be put into service all over the world. They are working effectively, especially cost-effectively and with a high degree of reliability. One of their characteristics is the strict separation between robot and humans, who are working in the same production environment. The applicabel means for separation are prescribed very strictly by diverse national and international regualtions and extend from physical fences to light barriers, light curtains and safety mats. New robot applications are aiming at the automation of sevices which imply close cooperation with humans. Examples are well-known transportation vehicles (AGVs) and an increasing number of robots in public or at least populated environment. IPA's approach uses distributed smart sensor systems which are strategically installed around the robot. To adapt their survey areas to the a ctual robot configuration fault tolerant and self-controlling field-bus-systems are implemented. Recent prototypes are refueling robots or welding robots in shipyards. Here people are allowed to go in the nearest vicinity of the robot. This paper will present the above scope of interest for service robot safety sensors beginning with new requirements for sensor and control systems and continuing with the discussion of further developments of existing regulations. The safety concepts of selected examples, where robots are working closely adjacent to humans, will be presented. The paper will include an survey as well as major study results of these projects.