Today's industrial robots have introduced new risk to the work place even
though their areas of operation are clearly defined in safety zones or cages.
The Netherlands Organisation for applied scientific research (TNO) has recently
released a report on the emergent risk to workplace safety as a result of the
use of robots in the work place.
In this report, TNO has looked not just at robots that are being deployed
today, but also at the development of and possibilities for industrial robots
in the near future. If industrial robots start moving more autonomously in a
work place where people are also present, defining safety zones or placing
safety cages will no longer be a clear-cut process. Other vulnerabilities may
also appear as a result of people and robots working alongside each other.
Industrial robots are often deployed for heavy and hazardous work and are
therefore often heavy and hazardous themselves, by definition. In contrast,
care robots are built precisely to be safe for the patients they are caring
for. At the same time, robots may be fitted with equipment that could pose a
danger to people, and even in the event that a robot stops functioning there
may still be dangers present because the equipment (such as welding electrodes)
may be live.
AplusA-online.de - Source: Netherlands Organisation for applied scientific research (TNO)