Industrial Mobile Robot Safety Standard Now Available, A3 Announces at Pittsburgh Conference

R15.08-2 builds on existing documents and covers safe integration of mobile robots into industrial sites.

Association for Advancing Automation

ANSI has accredited the new industrial mobile robot safety standard, Part 3 of an ongoing series.
Industrial mobile robot deployments will get more clarity with the latest safety standard, which covers safe systems integration.

As industrial settings increasingly use mobile robots, safety standards become more important. The Association for Advancing Automation today revealed the second installment of its safety standard, which provides guidance on safe integration practices for industrial mobile robots, or IMRs.

“With the rapid development of mobile robot capabilities, it’s more important than ever for the safety of human workers to have common safety requirements and expectations for IMR systems and system integrations,” said Carole Franklin, director of robotic standards development at the Association for Advancing Automation (A3), in a press release.

“The R15.08 Part 2 is much-needed guidance toward ensuring safe integration practices for IMRs and will be a solid foundation for future work in this area,” she added.

Industrial mobile robot standard available

R15.08-2 is titled “The American National Standard for Industrial Mobile Robots (IMRs)—Safety Requirements—Part 2: Requirements for IMR system(s) and IMR application(s).” It provides safety requirements for deploying mobile robots into industrial environments.

The new standard specifies requirements for integrating, configuring, and customizing an IMR or a fleet of IMRs into a site. The American National Standard Institute (ANSI) accredited the standard.

Robotics developers, suppliers, integrators, and users can purchase the standard today at AUTOMATE.ORG/buystandards or at the International Robot Safety Conference, which A3 is holding through Oct. 11 in Pittsburgh.

A3 said it first established common safety requirements to guide IMR manufacturers with R15.08 Part 1 (ANSI/RIA R15.08-1-2020) published in late 2020. R15.08-2 now follows with requirements for systems integrators.

R15.08 Part 2 builds on prior document

“Until now, mobile robot integrators had only general safety requirements for industrial machinery,” noted A3. “R15.08-2 provides a common set of requirements for IMRs, while being flexible enough to permit companies to develop their own unique solutions.”

The association said the new document:

  • Describes different types of industrial mobile robots and aspects of IMR systems
  • Covers the adaptations necessary for the application and the facility in which the IMR or IMRs will be used
  • Describes safety requirements for when IMRs interact with workstations, charging stations, and other equipment
  • Explains safety considerations regarding the deployed operating environment

“A paradigm shift has occurred in recent years with the continued advancement of mobile robots in the workplace, and this shift demanded safety requirements beyond what is offered in other robot safety standards,” said Franklin.

A3 safety standard cover

Click on image to enlarge. Source: Association for Advancing Automation

“With Part 2 of the R15.08 standard, system integrators now have specific requirements that will help them ensure they’re deploying the safest mobile robot systems available in their customers’ facilities,” she added.

At the International Robot Safety Conference today, Jeff Pratt, chair of the R15.08 committee and senior corporate EHS engineer at Crown Equipment, will introduce the R15.08 family of standards for IMR safety in a general session at 1:30 p.m. ET.

Chris Soranno, safety standards and competence manager at SICK and the R15.08 committee vice chair, will take a deeper dive into “Mobile Robot Safety: The New R15.08-Part 2,” at 2:30 p.m. ET.

What’s next for IMR safety?

With the publication of the R15.08-2 complete, A3 said its R15.08 committee will next develop R15.08 Part 3, which will provide safety requirements for users of industrial mobile robot systems and applications.

The R15.08 Committee will also consider developing technical reports to address emerging topics such as mobile robot technology advances. Such topics will likely include multi-sensor fusion, additional stability testing, stability validation, and additional dynamic stability testing.

About A3

A3 said it promotes automation technologies and ideas to transform how business is done. The association's members include nearly 1,200 manufacturers, component suppliers, systems integrators, end users, academic institutions, research groups, and consulting firms worldwide.

A3 hosts a number of industry-leading events, including the International Robot Safety Conference and:

A3 promotes its International Robot Safety Conference.

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Association for Advancing Automation

ANSI has accredited the new industrial mobile robot safety standard, Part 3 of an ongoing series.

Robot Technologies