Industrial resource efficiency can be improved if the safety barrier between humans and robots is removed, as this enables operators and robots to work side by side or in direct collaboration to solve a task, usually referred to as a collaborative robot installation. Even though technology development makes the barrier removal ever more feasible from a safety perspective, this still produces a possible hazardous working environment, and safety assessment strategies are crucial. A wide area of knowledge is required to assess all fields that can help ensure safe human-machine interaction. Here the focus is primarily on providing a description of the key fields identified, including how operators psychologically accept working with robots, and providing a cursory description of the research front for each individual field. In addition to covering a large number of parameters, the assessment strategy also needs to be cost-effective. A significant part of all parameters that can be considered when attempting to produce optimized and cost-effective collaborative robot installations will also have a direct impact on operator safety. Hence, assessments for safety, and assessments for cost-effectiveness, cannot be separated, and are treated as two objectives that need to be viewed in sync.
Part of the book: Robots Operating in Hazardous Environments