These Airbags Stop Robots From Accidentally Injuring Workers
These airbags protect humans who work closely alongside robots. The inflatable bubble protects humans from the robots' sharpe edges.
It is inevitable that humans will work more and more alongside robots. Making workplaces that are safe and comfortable for humans is a crucial part of adapting to the rise of automation. Robots can often possess the ability to crush with huge power or be equipped with sharp claws or spikes.
A new invention is helping to mitigate possible injury to humans working alongside robots by outfitting robots with airbags. Germany’s DLR Robotics and Mechatronics Center have created the neat invention that can work on a range of existing robots common to the manufacturing industry. The airbag automatically inflates and covers the robot's sharp areas when there is a human is close to it. The white bag lights up red when it poses a threat, and green when it is in its safe protected mode. The bag is pressurized with air to reduce the impact if it does make contact with a flesh and blood colleague.
Creating robots that can work well with humans in close proximity will be essential to a smooth transition towards automation that is likely to happen in the not too distant future. While it's unlikely robots will completely take over the manufacturing industry. There is already a trend towards ‘collaborative workspace', where humans and robots work side by side together. In this case, we can see a human and robot collaboratively assembling a heater pump.