Collaborative robots represent the next big step in industrial automation. Accordingly high are the economic expectations. For Germany alone, five or six digit sales figures are expected within a few years.
When using collaborative robots one always has to consider the whole work place. The robots should be able to approach certain areas without stopping. Our technology allows exactly this without losing the protective effect. In the chapter Design History I explain why capacitive sensors provide the best solution for collaborative robots working safely without touching somebody.
Depending on the actual layout of the sensors ranges of 40 cm are possible. The Youtube video shows an example that detects a hand in a distance of 30 cm (12”).
Capacitive sensors are already in use with collaborative robots. How can that be if the only safe technology – our technology – is not used? There are three answers to this question:
Answer 1: The robots are additionally equipped with safe tactile sensors; whereas their capacitive sensors only improve the comfort.
Answer 2: The robots with unsafe technology are used in the USA. If there somebody is hurt by a machine he/she has to prove the malfunctioning of the machine. In Germany, each machine must be certified through an official authority prior to its delivery.
Answer 3: The whole sensor setup is made in two channels. Our technology needs one sensor only, its signal is processed in two channels. It reduces costs and enhances sensitivity.