Cobots are only as safe as the humans controlling them

The allure of #cobots, short for #collaborativerobots, is very real. They provide companies with a limited amount of resources and programming knowledge to be able to harness the advantages of robots – strength, speed, accuracy, consistency. As the name suggests, cobots are designed to work in collaboration with a human counterpart, who can provide flexible instructions on top of the robot’s inbuilt designs.

On the topic of safety, there is a hazard risk when cobots are deployed. When deploying cobots in factories, company leaders should close the implementation loop with the necessary safety protocols in place.

Creating a risk assessment

Within each unique human-robot work environment, coming up with a complete risk assessment is key in keeping that environment safe. This means that we are looking into the specific working conditions of each cobot situation, how the human and cobot interact, what hazards, injuries or collisions might occur, and how we can mitigate and reduce such risks. As each human-robot working environment is different, it is important to assess each situation, rather than having a blanket safety protocol that might not address the specific and unique risks involved.

There are international guidelines available for reference to get you started on your factory’s risk assessment.

Understanding the outcomes

With the advancement of technology, it’s possible to measure the impact of a collision through a collision measurement system.

Safety protocols and risk assessments aside, we must have clarity on the outcome of the hazardous situations, rather than relying on guesswork. Make full use of the technology options available in the market to assess the safety of your cobots before committing to it!

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