A robot arm can be repaired, a human arm is incomparably more at risk. While in the past the machines were therefore kept safe, today intelligent solutions directly on the robot even enable hazard-free mutual contact. The key is powerful sensors and cameras that not only allow detailed assembly tasks but also ensure that the cobot does not injure the human. In the event of unwanted contact, for example, the robot can automatically slow down its speed, reduce its radius of action or even stop in an emergency by means of an algorithm.
Manufacturers of robots, such as ABB or Kuka, are also working on learning systems for their products. For example, by interacting with their human colleagues, the cobots are supposed to learn from them, to correctly assess dynamic movements in the production area and to draw conclusions about their behavior. The aim is to give the robot the freedom to move as quickly and energy-efficiently as possible while at the same time complying with stringent safety requirements. Work is also already underway on intelligent automatic guided vehicles (AGVs) in the field of intralogistics. If an unexpected obstacle gets in the way of these – for example, a human being on the way to his or her lunch break – then it’s “STOP!”, which abruptly ends a transport process. Artificially intelligent AGVs, on the other hand, attempt to predict the behavior of moving objects through independent learning and react accordingly. Be it by slowing down or taking evasive action. For a safe coexistence.
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