Are industrial robots safe for humans?

With the use of robotics and automation in work environments, robotic collaboration applications are changing the way of interacting in different business functions, allowing manufacturers and industrial operators to combine the evolution of robotic systems, such as power and repeatability of equipment with the versatility, adaptability and intelligence of humans.

The result is a collaborative working environment that improves production efficiency and flexibility, in addition to reducing the physical burden on humans.

One of the key elements of robotic collaboration applications is the security that allows human workers and robotic teams to share the same work zone with less danger of injury.

An investigation, carried out by the Collegiate Institute of Ergonomics and Human Factors (CIEHF), shows that 89 percent of industry professionals believe that human workers are responsible for the faults that occur with their work, meaning that robotic machinery and equipment is needed.

This research also shows that experts believe that the evolution of Artificial Intelligence (AI) is important so that robots can understand human behavior and interact.

There has currently been a technological breakthrough in security that is being integrated into the robots and controllers using advanced sensors, controller security and communication networks that provide real-time security data that allows robots to automatically respond to potential eventualities such as contact with an operator.

Stephen Barraclough, CEO of CIEHF, says: ‘This research once again underlines the importance of the human factor in the design stage and how our discipline must be critical to future development.

Robots have significant potential benefits for many industries and for our economy as a whole, which is so important at the moment, but it is of the utmost importance that robots are designed with human capabilities. The more we take into account the global integration of robots in our society, the smoother the process will be.

Today there are organizations that provide guidance on how robots and humans can work together to revolutionize productivity and safety in industrial operations, these standards or regulations are provided by the Association of Robotic Industries.

The organizations that welcome these changes will be the ones that will see the positive effect that robots provide, such as increased productivity, safety and quality of the company and worker performance.

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