Forget the killer robots and the rescue robots — how about robots saving lives by taking on dangerous jobs? Robot safety isn’t always about avoiding robot danger. It’s also about letting robots take on the dangers.
Milk tank inspection
In New Zealand, robots are inspecting milk tanks.
A list of safety concerns related to milk tank inspections is sobering:
• Toxic fumes
• Hot rinsing water
• Solitary work
• Falls into or inside of the tank
• Agitator starts unexpectedly
• Getting stuck in the tank
• Oxygen deficiency in large tanks with high bacterial count
A milk tank inspector can be overwhelmed by fumes, fall, and be unable to get out of the tank. Often, no one will know that the inspector was in the tank, so no help will come in time.
Invert Robotics has a robot that can do the job. With suction cups to keep it in place, the robot can safely inspect milk tanks and other liquid containers – or airplane surfaces, for that matter. It sends high-res photos to the maintenance team.
The goal, Invert Robotics told Robotics Business Review, is simple: “Our ultimate goal is for nobody to have to work in cramped spaces any longer.” That’s a good example of robot safety measures.
Sunken treasure ship exploration
In France, a Stanford robot mermaid has been exploring sunken treasure ships. This is a job that people want to do, but it’s very dangerous. The robot, known as OceanOne, has some special features that make it a good choice for sunken treasure.
It has sensors that provide information about how things feel. Researchers can to a significant extent feel the objects OceanOne touches. The camera adds visual information. The robot’s humanoid form makes it easier for human experts to get the experience they’d have if they were in the shipwreck themselves.
But the team that developed OceanOne, while they are planning to continue archaeological dives, is also hoping that their creation is another step toward an all-purpose autonomous robot. They want to build robots that can work on oil rigs, in nuclear power plants — in all kinds of situations where people would be in danger.
Rexroth motion control
Automation has for decades replaced human beings in dangerous situations. Increasing innovation is extending that benefit of automation — robot safety, if you will.
Rexroth is also a pioneer in safety technology for industrial automation.
As with all robotics, motion control is key. If your Rexroth electric industrial motion control needs support and service, call us. We specialize in Rexroth electric drive and control systems, including legacy systems.