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Systems Considerations on Robot End Effector Speed as a Risk Factor during Robot Maintenance.

Eighth International System Safety Conference, New Orleans, Louisiana, July 27-31, 1987 :434-437
A systems approach to human control of moving industrial robots during maintenance tasks was discussed with emphasis on robot speed. There is significant potential for serious injury while working with robots; reports of 33 industrial robot related injuries or incidents in the United States have been collected by the Safety Standards Subcommittee of the Robotic Industries Association. An objective of the systems approach was to minimize the risk that overrun distance after an unexpected slow robot move begins is not large enough to crush a programmer against a fixed object. To effectively decrease the risk, the speed of the robot and effector, along with subsystem interactions, needed to be assessed. Standards for slow speed were detailed; 25 centimeters per second was suggested as a speed whereby humans could recognize and react to perceived hazard. In the systems model, robot stopping time was a function of human perception time, human decision time, human movement time, robot controller time and braking time. The human information processing subsystem took into account time of reaction and probability that a certain reaction would take place. Means of improving human reliability in regard to effective detection and response to hazardous robot motion were needed. The author suggests that future improvements might come in warning devices and/or programmer training.
Industrial-equipment; Equipment-design; Equipment-operators; Industrial-safety; Safety-engineering; Equipment-reliability; Machine-operation; Analytical-models; Accident-prevention;
Document Type
Conference/Symposia Proceedings;
Source Name
Eighth International System Safety Conference, New Orleans, Louisiana, July 27-31, 1987
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division