Levels of Collaboration Case Study: Fenced Robot

Levels of Collaboration Between Humans and Robots

Interactions between humans and robots can be distilled down into five levels. These levels are:

  1. Fenced Robot
  2. Coexistence
  3. Sequential Collaboration
  4. Cooperation
  5. Responsive Collaboration
Levels of collaboration between humans and robots.

An extensive breakdown of each of the levels can be found here.

Case Study: Fenced Robot

The first level of collaboration is Fenced Robot. This level is just as it sounds – a robot is fenced inside of a work cell while a worker is doing their work outside of the cell.

Real Life Example

In this specific example, we had a palletizing cell downstream of a pallet dispenser and upstream from a stretch wrapper and outfeed conveyor.

The robot has fencing all around it to prevent any sort of human/robot interactions when the robot is in motion.

Palletizing cell with FANUC robot

There is an infeed and outfeed conveyor that brings product in and takes the pallet stacks out of the cell. These areas have gaps in the fencing to allow for the product to go into and out of the cell.

These areas, however, do not allow a human to enter the cell while the robot is running. There are muted light curtains that shut the robot down if a worker attempts to enter through the gaps.

The only time in which a worker is allowed to be inside the fence is to do maintenance on the equipment. Otherwise, the worker and robot do their work in separate workspaces while separated by a physical barrier (the fence).

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