FORT Robotics has announced the newest product in its line of safety and security technology for smart machines. The Nano Safety Controller (or NSC) is an embeddable board that allows customers to build FORT wireless communication and safety technology directly into their machines without bolt-on hardware.
The Nano Safety Controller can send and receive what FORT refers to as “trusted commands”–highly dependable messages sent via patented technology for safety and data integrity. These commands can include wireless emergency stopping, sprint or crawl, change in state, or other signals that a user deems critical. With a board embedded in each mobile robot or machine, users can send these messages to large numbers of machines simultaneously, which can help make large deployments safer and easier to manage.
“Until now, customers who wanted our trusted command technology have had to use our bolt-on hardware. That’s not always ideal for every project.” says Nathan Bivans, FORT CTO, “With the NSC, we can provide a solution that’s smaller, more flexible, more integrated and cost effective for large numbers of machines.”
intelligent automaton vehicle for the delivery of food and productsTogether with a FORT software agent, the device can communicate over virtually any network, including wifi and other IP networks. FORT uses black channel communication principles to isolate and transmit critical safety data regardless of the network. Error detection, latency control, and other techniques are built in to ensure data integrity.
Like other FORT products, the NSC is designed to help users comply with current functional safety standards, as well as prepare for new and emerging robot safety requirements. The product is designed to meet ISO 13849 and IEC 61508 SIL 2 standards.
“Safety is at the core of everything we do, and it’s hard to get this level of safety integrity over IP networks,” says Dave Sullivan, Principal Product Manager. “We believe this is a game changer.”
FORT announced today at the MODEX Show in Atlanta that it is piloting the NSC with a company developing material handling robots, and plans to make the product more widely available in the coming months. While the Nano Safety Controller has many potential applications, Sullivan believes that autonomous mobile robots in warehouses are a particularly good fit for the solution.
“The AMR space is exploding, and we foresee a huge need to make sure those robots can be controlled easily and safely when needed. Using a scalable and ready-to-deploy solution designed for functional safety can save a lot of time and headache for AMR developers – not to mention the importance of making sure that people who work with these machines are protected.”