July 16, 2016      

“While useful, robots also represent a potential
hazard. They can move their arms or bodies forcefully and
very rapidly, and often manipulate dangerous and sharp tools.
This represents a threat to all living agents that are surrounding
robots. If humans are present in the robots’ proximity, the
situation gets even more dangerous.”

Safety Issues in Human-Robot Interactions
Milos Vasic and Aude Billard

 

Getting serious about a new machine

For all the advantages that machines bring to human industry, they are made to be powerful and infrequently get involved with humans in industrial accidents.

Just type “industrial accident” into a Google image search sometime and you’ll winch at the tragic results.

The advent of collaborative robots has ushered into human work domains yet another ingenious and similarly powerful new machine to share our workdays.

The collaborative robot-referred to lately as a cobot-has in three brief years established itself as the next wonder machine of enormous capability and productivity to hit manufacturing.

Sales of these new mechanical factory workers are soaring; and they are proving themselves to be more than worthy of all the praise that has been heaped upon them.

Barclays Equity Research reports that global sales of cobots reached approximately “$120 million at the end of 2015;” and forecast this market to grow to $3.1 billion by 2020 and $12 billion by 2025.

Frost & Sullivan’s Manufacturing Leadership Council says that the adoption of cobots is “unstoppable”.

Well then, looks like cobots are the very definition of the Victor Hugo quote: “Nothing is more powerful than an idea whose time has come.”

Need for safety and redress

But let’s face it, cobots are machines. Regardless of safety certifications earned, sales agent promises, or employer guarantees, things can happen in factories between humans and machines that are unanticipated, surprising and terribly sad.

Let’s remember Vasic and Billard from above: robots can be hazardous to human health.

Please join us for our upcoming webcast for an in-depth look at the issues of legal liability and safety in this new age of cobot co-workers.

Join me, Tom Green, and my special guest and good friend Garry Mathiason, Esq.: one of the world’s top experts on robots and the law; and founder at Littler Mendelson of the first robotics law practice in the U.S.

Join us for a frank, open discussion on cobots and the workplace and making cobots job-safe co-workers.

Here’s our webcast agenda:

  1. Introduction to cobots, cobotics, safety and legal liabilities
  2. Cobots: Only a generation removed from brutish
  3. Cobots: Pay once, own for life: the $28K brand-new factory worker
  4. Cobot video: Real People Saying Real Things Unscripted
  5. When things go very wrong: who’s libel and what are the liability issues?

-Employee-employer fault finding
-Strict liability and negligent design: Jones v. W + M Automation, Inc
-Failure to warn: Jones v. W + M Automation, Inc
-Claims against employers: Scott Fetzer Co. v. Industrial Comm’n of Ohio
-Causation issues: Arnold v. Reuther

  1. Let’s chat with Garry Mathiason
  2. “The Transformation of the Workplace Through Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, and Automation” Littler Mendelson
  3. “Safety Issues in Human-Robot Interactions” Vasic & Billard
  4. Risk assessment: Is this risk acceptable?
  5. Making your cobot job-safe: ISO/TS 15066
  6. The Robotiq Cobot Safety Checklist

Issues of liability, safety standards and trust are intrinsically linked to the acceptance and ultimate success of cobots.

Please join us on Wednesday, July 20 at 2PM EST

Collaborative Robots on the Job: Don’t Overlook Safety and Liability