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AMR Safety Standards and Protocol: What to Know

Posted by Kyle Kestler on December 18, 2023

The proliferation of Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMRs) across various sectors has underscored the need for stringent safety protocols. As these robots find their way into dynamic environments, ensuring their safe interaction with both humans and their surroundings becomes paramount. This article sheds light on the safety standards and best practices associated with AMRs. 

The surge in AMR adoption is partly driven by recent global shifts, including labor shortages and the push for greater operational efficiency. The COVID-19 pandemic, in particular, has accelerated the adoption of automation technologies, making the understanding of AMR safety more pertinent than ever.

Understanding Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMRs) 

AMRs are designed to navigate in diverse environments without human intervention. Using sensors, cameras, and advanced algorithms, they can perceive their environment, avoid obstacles, and perform tasks autonomously. 

Importance of Safety in AMRs 

Safety in AMRs is critical, not just for the robots but also for the humans they interact with. Moreover, safety in AMRs extends beyond preventing malfunctions with automation. It is also about adhering to legal and insurance requirements, mitigating financial and reputational risks, and ensuring the well-being of all personnel in automated environments.

Overview of Safety Standards for AMRs 

Various institutions have set protocols for AMRs. These standards address challenges related to their operation in industrial settings and crowded public areas. 

ISO 3691-4:2020: This part of the ISO 3691 standard specifies safety requirements and the means for their verification for driverless industrial trucks and their systems. It is particularly relevant for AMRs used in industrial settings.

ANSI/RIA R15.08: Developed by the Robotic Industries Association, this standard provides guidelines for industrial mobile robots. It addresses various aspects of safety related to mobile robots in industrial environments.

ISO/TS 15066:2016: Although this technical specification primarily pertains to collaborative robots, some of its guidelines on human-robot interaction can be relevant for AMRs, especially in environments where they closely interact with humans.

EN 1525: Safety of Industrial Trucks - Driverless Trucks and Their Systems: This European standard is similar to ISO 3691-4 and is specifically focused on driverless industrial trucks, offering guidelines on ensuring operational safety.

Additionally, businesses operating globally should be aware that AMR safety standards can vary by region. Complying with local regulations and understanding international safety practices is essential for comprehensive AMR safety.

Key Safety Features in AMRs 

Collision Avoidance Systems 

Leveraging sensors and cameras, AMRs can detect obstacles in their path, recalculating their route to prevent collisions. 

Emergency Stop Functionality 

In unexpected situations, AMRs are equipped with mechanisms that allow them to come to an immediate halt. 

Safe Speed Profiles 

Depending on the environment and the task, AMRs can adjust their speed to ensure safe operation. 

Obstacle Detection and Proximity Sensors 

These sensors enable AMRs to detect and navigate around stationary and moving objects. 

Dynamic Path Planning 

AMRs continually assess their environment and adjust their path to find the most efficient and safe route. 

Task Interruption Capability 

In case of a system failure or emergency, AMRs can pause their task and await further instructions. 

Interlocking and Restricted Access 

To ensure AMRs operate in safe zones, areas can be interlocked or restricted. 

Voice and Visual Alerts 

For areas with human traffic, AMRs are often equipped with alert systems to notify nearby individuals of their presence. 

Automatic Charger Safety Measures 

Safety protocols are in place to ensure AMRs safely dock and undock from charging stations. 


Best Practices for AMR Safety 

Regular Training and Education 

Employees should be educated about the functions and limitations of AMRs to ensure safe interactions. 

Establish Safety Zones and Markings 

Clearly marked zones can help segregate AMR operations from human traffic areas. 

Defined Pathways and Routes 

Pre-defined routes minimize the chances of unexpected encounters and collisions. 

Regular Maintenance and Inspections 

Routine checks ensure that all components of the AMR are functioning optimally. 

Supervision and Monitoring 

Constant monitoring can help in quick identification and resolution of potential issues. 

Safe Loading and Unloading 

Safety measures should be in place for the loading and unloading of goods or materials on AMRs. 

Continuous Risk Assessment 

Regular assessments can help identify potential hazards and address them proactively. 

Inclusion of Organizational Culture:

Cultivating a Safety Culture: Beyond protocols and specific actions, fostering an organizational culture that prioritizes safety is crucial. This means embedding safety as a core value and practice in every interaction with AMRs.



What can AMR do in warehouses? In warehouses, AMRs can assist with tasks such as inventory management, transportation of goods, and shelf scanning. 

What is AMR compliant? AMR compliance refers to the adherence of AMRs to established safety and operational standards set by regulatory bodies. 

How frequently should AMRs undergo safety inspections? The frequency of safety inspections for AMRs can vary based on usage intensity and the operational environment, but it's generally recommended to perform regular checks in line with the manufacturer's guidelines.

Are there specific training requirements for staff working with AMRs? Yes, staff working with or around AMRs should undergo specific training to understand their operations, safety features, and the correct procedures for interacting with these robots.

As we embrace AMRs for their efficiency and adaptability, it’s equally important to stay abreast of the evolving safety standards and practices. The field of AMR safety is continuously advancing, and keeping up-to-date ensures not only compliance but also the ongoing safety and efficiency of your operations.

To learn more about how AMRs can improve your operations and to explore safe, efficient automation solutions, we invite you to connect with us. Simply click on the 'Contact Us' tab at the top of our webpage for further information and tailored guidance.

Topics: Warehousing, Automation, Mobile Robotics, Safety