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Fetch Robotics conforms mobile robot fleet to new safety standard


The full suite of autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) from Fetch Robotics now conforms with ANSI / RIA R15.08, the new safety standard for industrial mobile robots.

AMRs move autonomously through facilities and often need to avoid obstacles like heavy machinery and human workers. Under the standard, the Fetch Robotics AMRs are certified for safe use in all current use cases throughout warehouses, factories, distribution centres and fulfillment centres.

In December 2020, the Robotics Industries Association (now part of Association for Advancing Automation, or A3) and the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) released the R15.08 safety standard for industrial mobile robots, which is the world’s first developed specifically for AMRs.

R15.08 provides technical requirements for the design and integration of AMRs, ensuring that the robots protect facility operators and workers from injuries that can result in civil and criminal liabilities, regulatory fines and higher insurance costs.

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The new standard provides a comprehensive framework to assess the safety of AMR systems, which are defined as both the AMR base and any additional accessories.

R15.08 specifies that if the original manufacturer or a third party adds an attachment to an AMR (creating an AMR system), it is considered a system manufacturer and therefore is responsible for the certification and safety of that device.

As a result, the standard covers a wide number of manufacturing arrangements, such as when an AMR manufacturer sells the robotic base to an integrator who then adds an attachment (like a rack, cart, bin or arm) so the robot can complete workflows.

The standard also covers integrators that add attachments and stations to move items like pallets on or off of an AMR base. Specifying the coverage of R15.08 for both the AMR itself and the complete AMR system mitigates risk for end users, who prior to R15.08 may have been using an AMR that conformed to R15.08 with an attachment that did not conform to R15.08.