2013-01-01 12:00 - Messages

Building safer robots: safety driven control

In recent years there has been a concerted effort to address many of the safety issues associated with physical human-robot interaction (pHRI). However, a number of challenges remain. For personal robots, and those intended to operate in unstructured environments, the problem of safety is compounded. In this paper we argue that traditional system design techniques fail to capture the complexities associated with dynamic environments. We present an overview of our safety-driven control system and its implementation methodology. The methodology builds on traditional functional hazard analysis, with the addition of processes aimed at improving the safety of autonomous personal robots. This will be achieved with the use of a safety system developed during the hazard analysis stage. This safety system, called the safety protection system, will initially be used to verify that safety constraints, identified during hazard analysis, have been implemented appropriately. Subsequently it will serve as a high-level safety enforcer, by governing the actions of the robot and preventing the control layer from performing unsafe operations. To demonstrate the effectiveness of the design, a series of experiments have been conducted using a MobileRobots PeopleBot. Finally, results are presented demonstrating how faults injected into a controller can be consistently identified and handled by the safety protection system.

Source : Woodman R, Winfield AFT, Harper C, Fraser M. Building safer robots: Safety driven control, Int. J. Rob. Res. 2012; 31(13): 1603-1626. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0278364912459665

Un guide pour la sécurité des interventions de maintenance

Préconisations AFIM / INRS pour la maîtrise des énergies
Le guide Sécurafim a été réalisé par l’Association française des ingénieurs et responsables de maintenance (AFIM) et l’INRS. Il propose une démarche pour faciliter et sécuriser les opérations de maintenance sur les équipements de travail, en rappelant les principes inhérents à la maîtrise des énergies. Il permet, d’après un modèle, la réalisation d’une fiche repère de consignation par machine et la mise en place d’une signalétique adaptée.

Source :
http://www.inrs.fr/accueil/header/actualites/guide-securafim.html
http://www.afim.asso.fr/SST/securafim/afim_doc/Securafim_Guide.pdf

Truck-mounted changeable message signs with symbols for work zone operations

Truck-mounted changeable message signs (TMCMSs) are desirable for scheduled and unscheduled short-duration work operations to inform drivers of unexpected conditions. Temporary traffic control for short-duration operations has been limited traditionally to arrow boards and static warning messages mounted to the work vehicle. With advances in technology, TMCMSs can fill a gap and provide drivers with better information about short operations and required actions by the driver. Through a study in a human factors laboratory, researchers evaluated message designs that incorporated text and graphic alternatives to warn drivers about accidents, work zone areas, and lane closures. In this study, researchers determined many key points about motorist interpretations of TMCMS symbols and text messages. The study found that (a) the accident symbol was well understood and enhanced motorists' abilities to recall the situation during limited viewing times, (b) the sign with the "Man Working" figure without the diamond background outline was recommended because it elicited the best reaction time by study participants, and (c) the lane-blocked symbols worked well to communicate lane conditions to drivers.

Source : Ullman BR, Trout ND, Sun D. Truck-Mounted Changeable Message Signs with Symbols for Work Zone Operations, Transp. Res. Rec. 2012, vol. 2272, p. 78-86. http://dx.doi.org/10.3141/2272-09

Sécurité des équipements de travail : prévention des risques mécaniques

Ce document traite des mesures de prévention contre les risques mécaniques. Il a pour objet de faciliter leur choix. Il présente des exemples de moyens de protection connus à ce jour, dont on peut s'inspirer pour supprimer ou réduire les risques mécaniques engendrés par les machines. Les deux premiers chapitres de ce recueil reprennent les principales définitions et résument la démarche à suivre pour le choix des mesures de prévention. Les troisième et quatrième chapitres sont dédiés à l'identification des phénomènes dangereux et aux mesures de prévention intrinsèque. Les chapitres suivants permettent l'aide au choix des mesures de prévention.

Cette brochure annule et remplace la brochure ED 807 "Sécurité des machines et des équipements de travail. Moyens de protection contre les risques mécaniques", dont la dernière édition datait de 2006.
Le site propose, en complément du texte intégral de la brochure, une liste de fabricants de dispositifs de protection, périodiquement mise à jour
Source : http://www.inrs.fr/accueil/produits/mediatheque/doc/publications.html?refINRS=ED%206122

Reducing occupational fatalities by using NIOSH 3rd generation automatically deployable rollover protective structure

Each year tractor rollovers cause injuries or deaths for farmers despite the fact that an effective safeguard was available in the form of a rollover protective structure (ROPS); however, many ROPS were removed by the tractor's owners, because the ROPS is too tall to allow tractors to enter farm fields because it may damage produce located on low hanging tree branches while working in an orchard, and the loss of crops means loss of money for farmers. The NIOSH AutoROPS will provide the same level of protection as the conventional ROPS, but instead of having the post as one solid part as with the ROPS, the AutoROPS has a fixed posts located inside the outside deployable posts to meet the farmer's need of low clearance. This study addressed the need to build and test the NIOSH 3rd generation of the AutoROPS model based on Alkhaledi et al. (2002) model, which was smaller in size with low overhead clearance zone and to insure that the built model would comply with the SAE J2194 standard for static testing. The results showed that the 3rd generation AutoROPS absorbed all applied loads in sequence, thus satisfying the SAE J2194 standard requirements. No signs of failure were shown for the AutoROPS' base and the latching mechanisms. The successful testing the NIOSH designed AutoROPS lead to the development of the ANSI/ASABE S599 industry standard, which was approved November 2010 as an American national standard for standardized deployment performance of an automatically deployable ROPS for turf & landscape equipment.

Source : Alkhaledi K, Means K, McKenzie Jr. E, Smith J. Reducing occupational fatalities by using NIOSH 3rd generation automatically deployable rollover protective structure, Safety Sci., 2013, 51(1), p. 427-431. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ssci.2012.08.004

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