Analysis of interlaboratory safety related tests in power and force limited collaborative robots
The use of collaborative robots in the industrial domain has significantly grown in the last years, allowing humans to operate in the same workspace occupied by robots without any physical barriers. Understandably, the safety of the human operator has been a major concern both for researchers and regulatory bodies. The power and force limited modality of robots is of particular interest in that sense, being used in order to bound the energy of eventual collisions when a close physical interaction with humans is necessary. Such an interaction modality allows the robotic system to operate without the use of barriers, but a measurement of the force and pressure occurring due to a contact must be provided as part of the risk assessment. However, the precise procedure to follow in order to reliably provide such measures is still unclear for users and system integrators willing to self-assess the safety of their own collaborative robotic system. In this work, the repeatability and reliability of such testing procedures and measures are analyzed with an interlaboratory comparison approach, with the aim to establish the degree of variability possibly encountered when performing the same test under slightly different conditions.