TCIE project engineer named to robotic technical standard committees

From left: TCIE’s Executive Director Timothy Leyh and Project Engineer Akshay Sivadas pose with the RIA member plaque.

From left: TCIE’s Executive Director Timothy Leyh and Project Engineer Akshay Sivadas pose with the RIA member plaque.

By Tracy Puckett

Release Date: February 6, 2019

“This representation gives UB an important voice in the global robotics field.”
Timothy Leyh, executive director
UB TCIE

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Led by an effort of the University at Buffalo Center for Industrial Effectiveness (TCIE), UB’s Sustainable Manufacturing and Advanced Robotic Technologies (SMART) Community of Excellence is helping to create industry-consensus standards for the robotics industry.

The Robotic Industries Association (RIA) approved TCIE Project Engineer Akshay Sivadas as a voting member for two volunteer committees that develop universally accepted guidelines focused on assuring the safety of industrial robots and industrial robot systems. RIA is a North American trade group that sponsors the establishment of standards and related documents for the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and International Organization for Standardization (ISO).

“This representation gives UB an important voice in the global robotics field,” says Timothy Leyh, executive director of TCIE, the arm of UB’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences that connects industry to university resources.

Sivadas joins representatives from leading robot manufacturers, users, system integrators, component suppliers, research groups and consulting firms. The appointments designate him to serve on the following:

  • The R15 Standards Approval Committee: The ANSI-accredited consensus body that votes on decisions relating to ANSI standards in robotics.
  • The R15.06 Standards Drafting Subcommittee on Industrial Robot Safety: The drafting body charged with developing standards and related documents for the robotics industry with a focus on industrial robot safety.

Leyh says UB will not only contribute value to this engagement, but be on the receiving end, too.

“The research that SMART is conducting in the robotics sector has the potential to make an even greater impact,” he explains. “And on the reverse side, researchers, educators, and students at UB will have access to the big players that are pioneers in the evolution of robotics – Amazon, Boeing and other large defense contractors, and OEM manufacturers like Universal Robots, FANUC America and ABB. What Akshay learns will have incredible value for our center and our school.”

In addition to UB’s Tier 1 membership in the Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute, TCIE became a member of RIA in summer 2018, as a center that specializes in ISO consultation and education. TCIE also offers safety services related to collaborative robots (aka cobots), which are robots that don’t require physical barriers and operate alongside human workers. Services include facilitating risk assessments, suggesting cobot safety improvements, and informing the workforce.

Additionally, Sivadas is the instructor for an online course that prepares learners to objectively examine cobot work environments and proactively eliminate hazards. Collaborative Robot Safety: Design and Deployment is available on the Coursera platform. Together with the UB-led Coursera offering on digital manufacturing and design, these courses provide a foundation in principles of the emerging Industry 4.0 paradigm.

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