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Award-Winning Safeguarding Solution for Industrial Robots Lowers Collaboration Costs

Veo Robotics’ FreeMove sensors-and-software system uses advanced computer vision and 3D sensing to safely turn a high-speed, heavy-load industrial robot arm into a collaborative robot (cobot) that’s faster – and thus more productive – than traditional cobots.

Veo Robotics’ FreeMove system incorporates advanced computer vision, 3D sensing, and artificial intelligence to overcome the limitations of power and force limiting (PFL) robots. The safety system enables the much larger installed base of traditional industrial robots to work alongside humans by giving the machines the ability to perceive and respond to their surroundings.

The future of manufacturing is dynamic, flexible human-machine collaboration. The FreeMove control system from Veo Robotics Inc. (Waltham, MA) makes high-speed industrial robots responsive to human coworkers so they can safely and more productively work side by side.

Engineered to the ISO 13849 safety standard, the system is comprised of wide-field-of-view, long-range 3D time-of-flight sensors with dual imagers and per-pixel validation positioned on a work cell’s periphery to capture what’s happening throughout the entire space. Software connected to the robot controller and sensors use the data to track and calculate via an artificial intelligence (AI) engine all possible future states of human, robot, workpiece, and occlusions. If it looks like an employee is about to violate the protective separation distance, the software stops the robot by implementing speed and separation monitoring (SSM) per ISO15066.

Other safeguarding solutions, such as light curtains and area scanners, can require considering an exhaustive set of scenarios and integrating multiple 2D safety systems to cover all the areas where a human could go, adding time and complexity to automation efforts. FreeMove enables manufacturers to more easily design work cells using robots they may already own that are flexible enough to support high-mix/low-volume production.

Founded in 2016 and named a 2020 World Economic Forum Technology Pioneer, Veo Robotics partners with robot manufacturers ABB, Fanuc, Kuka, and Yaskawa.


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