Robot Controller Has Safety Feature for Human-Robot Collaboration

The Denso RC8A Robot Controller slows or stops a robot’s movement until nearby personnel clear the area, and then instructs robot to resume its normal functioning speed.

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DENSO Robotics has announced the RC8A robot controller with Denso Safety Motion, which allows creation of virtual fences around the robot. Safety Motion uses two optical sensors, one at the top and one at the bottom of the cell, to detect an approaching operator and control the speed of the robot accordingly. The sensors create virtual safe zones that trigger an incremental reduction in the speed of the robot to safe levels depending on the distance of the operator. When the operator reaches the closest zone, the robot reduces its motor torque and slows down enough to let the operator to safely interact with it, or it stops entirely. As soon as the operator leaves, the robot automatically starts running at normal speed again, which minimizes stoppage time.

Denso’s ORiN open-resource interface networking system allows the RC8A to communicate with over 100 different types of devices. The controller’s range of communications interfaces includes 100 Base-T Ethernet, mini/hand I/O, RS-232C and USB as standard, with CC-Link, DeviceNet, EtherCAT, EtherNet/IP, parallel discrete I/O, Profibus and Profinet as optional. Several optional accessories are available. Denso’s Wincaps III 3-D simulation software enables offline programming and remote monitoring of robot operation.