Collaborative robots with AIRSKIN

The safety touch sensor Airskin, represents a revolution in robotics increasing collaboration between humans and robots.

Security touch sensor – a revolution in collaborative robots

The safety touch sensor Airskin, manufactured by Blue Danube Robotics, represents a revolution in robotics, where we are witnessing an increasing collaboration between humans and robots.

The advantages of such cooperation are the removal of safety fences to limit the working area of ​​the robot, increase work efficiency and reduced downtime of the robot and the operator.

If a robot collides with an operator, the robot stops and resumes work after the operator presses a certain key, after a certain operator gesture, or after a certain time has elapsed.

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Cooperate with ease

According to ISO 10218-2, possible degrees of robot-human cooperation are coexistence, cooperation and collaboration. In coexistence, a robot and a human work in different time periods in a common work area. In joint work, the robot serves as a compensator for gravity or uncomfortable movements.

The robot moves only at the request of the operator, to assist the operator in moving heavier loads and the operator’s work with heavier tools. In collaboration, however, the participating robot, through its design or with the help of accessories, is aware of its surroundings, performs its work autonomously, and can interact with a human in the same way as two humans would cooperate.

Make your robot truly collaborative

Typical solutions that enable the implementation of cooperating robots are passive limits of force and power at touch. For example rounded edges, larger contact area, additional linings, limited mass.

You should also consider active limits of forces and torques in the joints of the robot at touch (force and torque meters at the top and / or in the joints of the robot for collision detection – impedance control, limited speed of movement of the robot joints, inertia limitation).

Collaborative robots with AIRSKIN safety touch sensor

Prevent injuries

Collaborative robots with AIRSKIN safety touch sensor

Some research on the threshold for pain and injury involving humans and robots suggests that to limit the risk, it is necessary to reduce the robot’s speed to less than 250 mm/s and limit the force to 150 N. When touched, the transient force can have twice the value, but for a maximum of 500 ms.

Additional mechanisms for implementing a participating robot may be camera solutions and solutions with protection of segments with robotic clothing (passive and / or active protection, using capacitive or optical sensors for active protection to measure the proximity of the operator, or to measure and detect human temperature).

Safety sensor pads – the skin of your robot

A revolutionary and unique innovation in the world for the field of collaborative robot applications, which makes an industrial robot for a collaborator or only enables the acceleration of an existing collaborative robot application, is a patented robotic armor/suit called AIRSKIN.

AIRSKIN represents the “skin” with which we clothe a conventional robot and the robot tool. “Skin” is a soft and pressure-sensitive touch sensor, consisting of pads (pad), which can be of different thicknesses for passive protection depending on the application characteristics of the participating robot.

safety sensor pads AIRSKIN

Components of AIRSKIN safety sensor pads

The AIRSKIN airbag has a sensor and a small piezo-electric pump that maintains a certain air pressure in the airbag. A maximum of 15 pads, which are attached (pictured) to the robot via a support layer, are connected in series and are connected via two OSSD safety outputs directly to the safety inputs of the robotic controller.

AIRSKIN safety sensor pads
AIRSKIN safety sensor pads

Safety touch sensor and its advantages

AIRSKIN safety touch sensor

The advantages of the AIRSKIN solution are higher maximum robot speed (up to 800 mm/s), very fast response time (up to 9 ms), adjustment of the cushion thickness for passive protection according to the requirements of each participating robot application, the only one in the world or a rare tool solution. on any robot.

The solution brings benefits to the company due to the smaller required area (space), greater efficiency of the work of the participating robot and operator (speed) and innovative solutions to reduce risks (safety).

Safety touch sensor and its advantages

An additional innovative solution is the magnetic connection of sensors to prevent damage to exposed cables when they are routed through the outside of the robotic arm.

The sensor cable is easily separated from the other part of the connector, with which it is held in contact by a magnetic force between the two parts. The level of protection is up to PLe category 3 (ISO 13849) or to SIL3 (EN 62061), the certificate is made by TÜV Austria.

AIRSKIN safety touch sensor

Operation defining standards

AIRSKIN safety touch sensor

ISO / TS 15066 complements EN ISO 10218-1.

Biomechanical limitations in participating applications – a model of the human body with 29 points in 12 areas of the human body to limit the force and power of the robot are presented in the table and figure from the master’s thesis “Participating robots” by Aleš Zoret.

This standard already contains a definition of a participating robot, which states: “a participating robot is a robot designed to interact directly with a human within a marked participating workspace.” For the case of robot-human collaboration, four operations are presented:

  • Safety controlled shutdown,
  • Hand guidance,
  • Speed ​​and safety distance control,
  • Limitation of power and force.

AIRSKIN has a security level of PLe category 3 (ISO 13849) or to SIL3 (EN 62061)

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