FORT Robotics Endpoint Controller Receives SIL 3 Safety Certification

The controller, part of the FORT Robotics Control Program, can both transmit and receive safety commands.

FORT Robotics

FORT Robotics Endpoint Controller can communicate with up to 30 devices at once.
FORT Robotics said exida has certified its controller, which provides machine and fleet-wide controls, ensuring compliance with safety regulations.

FORT Robotics Inc. today announced that its Endpoint Controller has received Safety Integrity Level 3, or SIL 3, functional safety certification. The Philadelphia-based company claimed that the controller “brings safe, secure, dynamic wireless control to mobile, automated, or autonomous machines.”

“In warehousing, manufacturing, heavy equipment, or really any machine environment, there is an increasing need for people and robots to work together,” said Nivedita Ojha, vice president of product at FORT. “Our goal is to make that collaboration as productive as possible with minimal risk.”

“With the Endpoint Controller, companies can enhance operational efficiency by commanding multiple machines at once to e-stop, pause, crawl, respond to a fire alarm, and more,” he said in a release.

Founded in 2018, FORT Robotics said the Endpoint Controller is part of its Robotics Control Platform, the first of its kind. The company added that it serves hundreds of customers, including leaders in warehousing, agriculture, construction, and other industries.

System offers scalable, fleet-wide control

As autonomous systems become more common at worksites, FORT Robotics said its hardware and software can help businesses maximize human-machine collaboration while reducing risks to people, assets, and data.

The Endpoint Controller can send and receive two different SIL 3 safety commands over Wi-Fi or Ethernet and can communicate with up to 30 machines simultaneously (see video below). This makes it possible to command and manage machines on- or off-site, delivering scalable, efficient control, said the company.

The Endpoint Controller can be mounted on a machine or integrated with third-party input devices, such as buttons, safety interlocks, light curtains, or fire alarms, allowing users to trigger automatic wireless communications with a fleet of machines or robots. Additional features include a tamper-proof design, an IP65-rated enclosure, and secure firmware to protect against cybersecurity threats.

The controller can be securely configured and managed using the FORT Manager cloud platform, available via a no-code application or through API access for direct integration with an existing system.

FORT Endpoint Controller to ensure safety

FORT Robotics noted that it received SIL 3 certification, as defined by IEC 61508, from exida. In the past, this level of reliability was limited to wired hardware, it said.

However, the evolving automation landscape requires the ability to send functionally safe commands over any network, including wireless communication. FORT said product is one of only a few certified wireless systems on the market.

FORT’s Endpoint Controller functions as both a transmitter and a receiver of SIL 3 safety commands. Deploying an SIL 3–certified product can help users comply with safety regulations and ensure that potential risks have been assessed and mitigated, said the company.

“As mobile and autonomous machines become common drivers of productivity, companies must have a reliable means to send safety commands over wireless networks to ensure employees can monitor, respond, or stop machines from a distance if an unsafe scenario emerges,” said Nathan Bivans, chief technology officer of FORT. “Certification from one of the world’s most trusted safety experts in exida means the device will work as intended, when intended, reducing the risk of harm to people or damage to the equipment.”

Join Mike Zipperer, product manager and director of cybersecurity at FORT Robotics, as he explores the FORT Endpoint Controller.

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FORT Robotics

FORT Robotics Endpoint Controller can communicate with up to 30 devices at once.

Robot Technologies