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Since serving the first client in 1987, the focus of the University at Buffalo (UB) Center for Industrial Effectiveness (TCIE) is on improving the performance of organizations, developing excellence in people, processes and technology. We support hundreds of businesses annually, utilizing the resources of UB's School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. Our team resolves a wide spectrum of operational challenges through technical assistance, continuous improvement consultation, and professional education.

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Online collaborative robot safety course available to public

POSTED 09/14/2018

Over the past decade, large and dangerous caged robots have given way to smarter counterparts. Called collaborative robots — aka cobots — they don’t require physical barriers and operate alongside human workers.

Though cobots feature built-in safety measures, they remain machines with the potential to cause harm if not properly deployed. A new online course from the University at Buffalo (UB) prepares learners to objectively examine cobot work environments and proactively eliminate hazards.

Collaborative Robot Safety: Design & Deployment is available on the Coursera platform, which serves 25 million registered users with courses from 150 universities. It is accessible to anyone with an internet connection.

The UB Center for Industrial Effectiveness (TCIE), the business outreach center of the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, conceived the course and directed production.

“I was delighted that TCIE chose to develop an online course explaining how to apply collaborative robots, and I was pleased to participate in its development,” said Brian Carlisle, CEO and co-founder of robot manufacturer Precise Automation. The company is based in Fremont, Calif., and specializes in cobots. “This is an important new knowledge area to improve the productivity of our factories.”

Carlisle’s 40-year career includes leadership roles at Adept Technology, designing Programmable Universal Machine for Assembly (PUMA) robots for Unimation (a robotics manufacturer) and holding multiple patents for robot designs. He serves as a course instructor with TCIE Project Engineer Akshay Sivadas.

The course is appropriate for anyone seeking knowledge to create a safer cohabitated workspace. It imparts industry-endorsed safety standards, technical report recommendations and best practices from the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), Robotic Industries Association (RIA) and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Topics include risk assessments, collaborative applications, design techniques for reducing collision forces and a methodology for safety testing.        

Content consists of video lectures complemented by reading materials, assessments and peer interaction. It also includes industry insights from EWI, which is a leading engineering and technology organization in North America dedicated to developing, testing and implementing advanced manufacturing technologies for industry.

There is no charge to access videos and readings. The fee for gaining access to all content — which includes assignments — and the opportunity to earn a certificate is $79 per month.

Collaborative Robots This content is part of the Collaborative Robots curated collection. To learn more about Collaborative Robots, click here.