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Robots that interact with humans: a review of safety technologies and standards

Robert Bogue (Consultant, Lydford, Devon, UK)

Industrial Robot

ISSN: 0143-991x

Article publication date: 19 June 2017




This paper aims to provide details of the safety considerations, technologies and standards associated with robots that interact with, or operate in proximity to, humans.


Following an introduction, this paper first considers collaborative robots and discusses their safety features and the new technical specification ISO/TS 15066, together with certain allied safety standards. It then discusses ISO 13482 and a range of assistive, personal care and service robots which comply with this and highlights new standards that are under development. Mobile warehouse and delivery robots are then considered, together with the safety technologies used and the associated standards. Finally, brief concluding comments are drawn.


The recent proliferation of robots that interact with humans or operate in proximity to them has led to the development of standards and specifications which seek to ensure safe operation. These allow robot manufacturers to design inherently safe products that will gain market acceptance and also help to inspire confidence among users. A number of new standards and specifications have been proposed or are being developed, and this trend is set to continue as new classes of robotic products emerge.


All manner of robots are being developed which interact with humans, and this provides details of the associated safety considerations, technologies and standards.



Bogue, R. (2017), "Robots that interact with humans: a review of safety technologies and standards", Industrial Robot, Vol. 44 No. 4, pp. 395-400.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

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