IRSST - Institut de recherche Robert-Sauvé en santé et en sécurité du travail

Collaborative robotics: feedback from workers, users and integrators in Québec

Abstract

The use of collaborative robots in industry since 2010 has led to changes in the safeguarding of this equipment. Previously, traditional industrial robots had to be caged to keep workers away from them. Moreover, under international standards workers were allowed to approach robots only during training, when the robot was operating at a reduced maximum speed of 250 millimeters per second.

Today, technological advances have made real-time robot/human interaction possible. However, these technological changes go hand in hand with safety breaches. New risks have emerged, especially during production, including collisions (since the person may be in contact with the robot), musculoskeletal disorders (even if a robot is designed to prevent them, it has to be handled properly in order to reduce or eliminate these disorders), psychosocial issues (stress related to the robot’s movements and production speed), etc.

The purpose of this study is to assess how the safety functions found on robot safety cards (control cards) or safety modules protect workers and to provide feedback on safety considerations in collaborative robotics integration projects in Québec.

Additional Information

Type: Project
Number: 2014-0046
Status: Completed
Year of completion: 2017
Research Team: