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  Hybrid Safety System (HSS)
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(Above) A man enters a robotic work cell.
(Below) HSS representation of the same scene. The man is shown in solid green. His safety zone is shown in transparent green. The robot’s danger zone is shown in orange. The intersection between the safety and danger zones is shown in red.


The Hybrid Safety System (HSS) enables humans and industrial robots to work together safely.

HSS prevents moving robots from colliding with people or objects that move into their work cell. It locates humans and objects that enter each robot’s work area and surrounds them with safety zones. The system also tracks the movements of robots and surrounds them with warning and danger zones. 

If a person’s safety zone intersects a robot’s warning or danger zone, HSS slows or stops the robot before a collision can occur.  This allows humans and robots to work safely in close proximity.  It also allows robots to avoid potentially damaging collisions with foreign objects.

HSS can keep any number of people, objects and robots safe. It dynamically takes their current locations into account, slowing and stopping a robot only when a collision is imminent.  Other robots that are not in danger of collision continue working as usual. 

HSS was originally developed for the Office of Naval Research’s Automated Weapons Assembly program to be used in a semi-automated work cell for shipboard munitions assembly.  However, this technology has an enormous range of applications in assembly and manufacturing operations where humans and robots can work productively together as a team.

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