Reduce or eliminate the need for fencing by making your industrial robots collaborative with AIRSKIN®
Until recently there has been a clear divide in the world of robots between collaborative and industrial. Manufacturers were forced to choose reduced speed and payload if they want their robots to work collaboratively with human co-workers. Industrial robots, on the other hand, could work faster and lift more but required safety fencing, lasers, and other bulky and expensive systems to ensure the safety of employees. AIRSKIN is a disruptive technology that will change the way you think about collaborative robots.
AIRSKIN is a series of soft, thin, and flexible pads that cover the surface of a robot or linear actuator. Each pad is filled with air and senses changes in pressure when it comes in contact with something in its environment. The small pressure change caused by the contact triggers the robot to stop to prevent injury.
*It is important to note that some robotic applications will never be collaborative due to the nature of the process; however, when installed correctly AIRSKIN meets ISO 15066 requirements for a collaborative robot.
When used with collaborative robots, such as those from Universal Robots, it can further improve safety while also increasing efficiency. The added pads allow collaborative robots to move faster than would normally be considered safe because the impact is reduced and response time is improved.
Benefits of AIRSKIN
- Space – Up to a 90% reduction in floor space needed because fences are not required (pending risk assessment)
- Speed – Increase speed for shorter cycle times – up to 800 mm/sec
- Safety – Meets the highest standards of safety
- Fast and easy risk analysis
- Easy installation and maintenance
- Can be customized to fit various, robots, tools, and grippers
- Reaction time: < 9 ms
- Thickness: Varies from 20-80 mm
- Mounting method: Support Structure with snap-on pads
- Voltage supply: 24 V DC
- Electrical Connection: Directly to robot controller
- Operating current per pad: 10 mA, max 35 mA
- Interface: OSSD (6 wires, 2 safety channels IN/OUT, 24V, ground)
- IP Classification: IP50
Ambient Temperature Range: 5-40 °C
Humidity: 0 – 85 %
How Does It Work?
The soft sensor pads that cover the robot are monitored to detect internal pressure changes due to pressure on the pad. Any change in pressure immediately triggers a safe stop signal to the robot controller or PLC to initiate the stop sequence. These pads are connected to the controller’s safety IO by a six-wire cable.
Will It Fit My Robot?
AIRSKIN offers a number of options to fit any application. The pads are 3D printed and fully customizable. AIRSKIN has developed a number of custom sets that fit perfectly on widely used robots such as those from UR, Mitsubishi, Denso, KUKA, and more. For EOAT, they have custom designs to fit a number of popular tools from manufacturers such as Schunk and Robotiq. In addition, they offer modular pads that can be easily configured to cover robots, actuators, and EOAT. Interested in AIRSKIN for a product or brand not listed? Let us know, we can work with AIRSKIN to help find a solution.
AIRSKIN also has coverage for just portions of a robot arm; allowing you to cover only the parts you feel would help improve the safety of your application. For instance, they offer options for just the wrist or elbow of the arm if that is where the contact is most likely to occur.
As an added safety feature, you can utilize the new safe flange adaptor that makes pick-and-place applications truly finger-safe. The flange is mounted between the robot and EOAT. It detects collisions from any direction to avoid pinches.
AIRSKIN Resources, News and Events
If you want to improve safety while also increasing the efficiency of your automated process contact us today. Our team of robotic experts would love to discuss your application to determine if AIRSKIN is right for you.