Introduction of UL’s first-ever consumer and commercial robot certification document addresses human-robot interaction safety concerns
NORTHBROOK, Illinois, Aug. 31, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — UL, a leading global safety science company, has issued UL 3300, the Outline of Investigation (OOI) for Service, Communication, Information, Education and Entertainment (SCIEE) Robots. The document describes the requirements used to evaluate robot operational safety focusing on multidirectional mobility, fire and shock hazards, external manipulation, user classes, and use surroundings. Since SCIEE (pronounced sky) robots typically operate near humans, the outline places a priority on the safe operation of robots in a variety of environments where people are present.
“Robot technology and applications are quickly expanding from the industrial and manufacturing segment to public and commercial spaces as well as within homes to assist and improve quality of life for people,” said Michael Sakamoto, senior manager of UL’s Consumer Technology division. “As this trend accelerates, additional safety concerns, including those associated with robot and human interactions, need to be identified and addressed.”
Rapid technological advancements are giving rise to a new generation of robots that have the ability to perform diverse tasks in open spaces and work with and alongside people. While already a mainstay within industrial and manufacturing sectors, next-generation robots are being utilized in nontraditional settings, such as grocery stores, hotels, airports, banks, shopping malls and public spaces, including sidewalks and parks. In addition, they are increasingly showing up in homes. With an increasing number of people living alone, service robots can be a welcome addition to the household. According to a presentation at World Robotics 2019 delivered by the International Federation of Robotics (IFR), the domestic and professional service robot sector is predicted to grow more than 40% (CAGR) over the next three years. While it’s already a $17.2 billion industry, according to IFR, COVID-19 has pushed aggressive development of solutions to address the pandemic.
Robots are being utilized to improve efficiency and productivity. With the latest robotic technology innovations, they also are being utilized to boost customer service, grow an operation’s flexibility and enhance brand value. With growing interest of robots in all areas of an organization, from brand and marketing and customer experience leadership to business strategists and IT heads, the safe deployment and operation of robots, especially in the public domain, has become a key concern for businesses globally.
“UL 3300 demonstrates how we are addressing the increasing complexities of consumer and commercial robots, as showcased in the active participation and leadership in robot safety standards development, technical committees and industry working groups,” Sakamoto said. “Helping to bring innovative robot technologies to market fast, our teams are poised to work with robot equipment and component manufacturers early in the product design stage to help get ahead of potential safety issues and avoid late stage production delays that impact the bottom line and customer trust.”
The UL Standards division of Underwriters Laboratories, our nonprofit affiliate, is beginning the process of developing a consensus standard using the UL 3300 OOI as the seed document. To apply for participation on the Standards Technical Panel, please contact Deborah Prince, standards program manager, Underwriters Laboratories. To purchase a copy of UL 3300, please visit shopULstandards.com. For more information or to request a quote for evaluation and/or product certification, contact email@example.com.
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