LS-DYNA Simulation of Robot-Dummy Crash Tests for Robot Safety Assessment

S. Oberer (Fraunhofer IPA) New technologies and processes enhance the need for direct human robot interaction, to fully exploit the potential of robots’ accuracy and humans’ adaptability. Therefore, the hazardous potential of the involved robot manipulator needs to be minimised. Limits must be set, so that only an acceptable severity of injury for the human will remain in case of an unintended contact between the robot and a human. Current standardisation for industrial robot systems does not sufficiently address the subject of close human robot cooperation, thereby restricting the implementation of the newest technology. The aim of the reported research is to demonstrate the possibilities to assess the safety performance of robot systems by robot-dummy impact evaluation. Methods from the automotive industry are investigated on their transferability to the situation in robotics. Anthropomorphic test devices, so called crash test dummies, that resemble the human’s kinematic response in car crashes are analysed during a robot-dummy impact. A simulation setup with the FAT ES-2 representing the operator and an industrial robot is realised within LS-DYNA to conduct impacts of the robot arm against the head and the chest. The resulting Head Injury Index (HIC) and the Viscious Criteria (VC) for the chest are discussed, showing the potential and the limitations for the situation in robotics.

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