Collision detection and speed/separation monitoring sensors can be used to help collaborative robots operate safely in proximity to humans. Consider whether you need to robot to slow down or stop when it detects a presence or if you only need it to stop after contact. Check which safety sensors are built in to the robot you’re using.

For task completion, does the operation require part detection or vision sensors? Without part detection, a gripper won’t know if it actually picked something up. Some end effectors may have integrated sensors such as part detection. Again, these components need to be looked at together, not just individually. If vision is required, what does the robot need to detect? Colors? 2D? 3D?

Learn more about applications that can benefit from sensors in the ebook Adding Extra Sensors – How to do Even More with Collaborative Robots.

How to Determine the Safety Measures Needed in Your Robotic Cell

A comprehensive risk assessment is crucial to provide the necessary safety measures. In some cases, the safety sensors built in to the robot can provide a safe environment, but in other cases, additional measures such as guarding must be taken. It’s important to look at the entire cell to determine safety requirements.

Robotic Cell Software and Communication Considerations

There are several software issues to consider. First, look at the essential communication requirements, such as how the robot interacts with its own components, e.g. communication between the robot and its end effectors and sensors. Communication requirements can also include how the robot needs to convey information within and outside the cell.

Next, look at specifics. What software can be used with the selected robot? Are there drivers for tooling? What level of programming expertise will be required? You don’t need to figure everything out at the high-level concept stage, but it is useful to identify areas that could be prone to complexity, and that will need further investigation and refinement as you go through the deployment process.

Even at a high-concept level, evaluating components can result in seeing how much more there is to know. Prevent discouragement by looking at how much you’ve learned and not trying to become an overnight expert. Share the insights gained from this stage with your team before proceeding to the next step. To learn more about using lean robotics to deploy a robotic cell, visit

The following article was republished with permission from Robotiq.