The Safety Sensing Technology of UR Manipulator to Realize Man-Machine Collaboration



Jul 17, 2023

In recent years, the rapid development of UR robot technology has made robots widely used in various fields. As an important component of UR robots, the robotic arm has advantages such as flexibility, efficiency, and precision, playing an important role in industrial production, medical and health, warehousing and logistics, and other fields. However, in human-machine collaboration environments, the safety of robotic arms has become a focus of attention. The following editor will introduce the safety sensing technology of UR robotic arms and explore how to achieve safety in human-machine collaboration.

1、 Overview of UR robotic arm safety sensing technology

  1. Safety awareness cultivation

In order to achieve the safety of human-machine cooperation, it is necessary to cultivate the safety awareness of robotic arm operators. Provide relevant training and education to understand the potential hazards and operating specifications of the robotic arm, and apply it reasonably according to the specified requirements to avoid serious safety risks, which is more conducive to interpersonal collaboration.

  1. Safety sensors

The UR robotic arm is equipped with various safety sensors for real-time perception of the surrounding environment and contact with the human body. This includes visual sensors, force sensors, LiDAR, etc. These sensors can provide accurate data to help the robotic arm avoid collisions and monitor force changes.

  1. Security Software System

The UR robotic arm is equipped with an advanced safety software system that can monitor the motion status of the robotic arm in real-time and make corresponding responses based on sensor data. When a dangerous situation is detected, the UR robot software system can stop the movement of the robotic arm in a timely manner, protecting the safety of operators.

Image taken from UR Robot’s official website

2、 Application of Security Sensing Technology in Human Machine Collaboration

  1. Dynamic obstacle detection

The safety sensing technology of UR robotic arm detects obstacles in the surrounding environment in real-time, including moving people, objects, etc. Through technologies such as visual sensors and LiDAR, the robotic arm can predict the trajectory of obstacles and make corresponding avoidance actions to avoid collisions with obstacles.

  1. Contact force control

The UR manipulator is equipped with a force sensor, which can monitor the Contact force between the manipulator and the human body in real time. When the robotic arm comes into contact with the human body, the force sensor can sense the changes in force and control the force output of the robotic arm through a safety software system, ensuring safety during the contact process and avoiding serious contact or collision faults.

  1. Security Zone Settings

In human-machine collaboration scenarios, safety zones can be set through the security software system to limit the range of motion of the robotic arm. When the operator enters a safe area, the robotic arm will automatically reduce its movement speed or stop moving to avoid serious accident risks, and can continue stable and safe work in the corresponding area.

  1. Visual Safety Tips

In order to improve the safety of human-machine collaboration, the UR robotic arm provides visual safety prompts through display screens and other means. For example, during the movement of the robotic arm, the display screen can display the trajectory of the robotic arm and predict the position of obstacles, allowing operators to have a clearer understanding of the status of the robotic arm, thereby reducing the possibility of accidents.

3、 Challenges and Prospects of Human Machine Collaboration

  1. Balancing Safety and Efficiency

In the process of achieving human-machine collaboration, security and efficiency are interrelated. To ensure safety, the robotic arm needs to make conservative motion planning, but this may lead to reduced efficiency. Future research needs to seek a balance between safety and efficiency to improve the efficiency of robotic arms.

  1. Intelligent human-computer interaction

In order to further improve the security and efficiency of human-machine collaboration, it is necessary to intelligentize human-machine interaction. By introducing technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning, robotic arms can better understand human intentions and behaviors, and respond accordingly, thereby achieving a higher level of human-machine collaboration.

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