Thu. Dec 7th, 2023
    Exploring Robot Safety: Considerations for Amateur Builders

    Robotic safety standards are typically geared towards commercial bots, focusing on their use in industrial settings. However, even if you are an amateur robot builder pursuing robotics as a hobby or for personal enjoyment, it’s essential to consider safety measures. As you construct and experiment with your own robot creations, there are key aspects from commercial robot safety standards that you should take into account.

    While reading through the entirety of the standards may not be practical for everyone due to cost and complexity, it is worth delving into the fundamental concepts. The R15-06 standard provides the basics for fixed robots like robot arms, outlining crucial safety considerations. The Association for Advancing Automation offers a detailed summary of the standard, which highlights the importance of preventing user access to areas where the robot arm might move. Additionally, it emphasizes the need for an effective means to quickly disable the motors in the event that someone does reach into a potentially hazardous area.

    However, if your robot is designed to move independently, like an Industrial Mobile Robot (IMR) or an Autonomous Mobile Robot (AMR), you must address a different set of safety challenges. These robots are intended to navigate around humans and operate in shared spaces. The relevant safety standard for these mobile robots is R15.08. The AGV network provides a comprehensive guide to the intricacies of this standard, focusing on two primary considerations: maintaining situational awareness to monitor the robot’s surroundings and ensuring the ability to halt the robot’s movements promptly to avoid injury.

    By recognizing the significance of these safety standards within the realm of amateur robotics, you demonstrate a commitment to ensuring the well-being of both yourself and others interacting with your creations. Prioritizing safety is not only critical for preventing accidents or injuries but also for fostering an environment that encourages responsible and enjoyable exploration of robotics.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Q: Do these standards apply to hobbyist robots as well?
    A: While these safety standards are primarily designed for commercial robots, amateur builders should consider incorporating relevant aspects into their own projects to ensure safety and prevent accidents.

    Q: Where can I access the complete safety standards?
    A: The standards, such as R15-06 and R15.08, can be obtained at an associated cost through the respective regulatory bodies. However, it may be more practical to refer to reliable resources that summarize the key points and considerations outlined in these standards.

    Q: Are there any other sources I can consult for additional information?
    A: In addition to the Association for Advancing Automation and the AGV network, you can explore other reputable robotics websites, forums, or books that provide insights into robot safety for both commercial and amateur applications.