The Use of Fault Trees for the Design of Robots for Hazardous Environments
Walker, Ian D.
Cavallaro, Joseph R.
This paper addresses the application of fault trees to the analysis of robot manipulator reliability and fault tolerance. Although a common and useful tool in other applications, fault trees have only recently been applied to robots. In addition, most of the fault tree analyses in robotics have focused on qualitative, rather than quantitative, analysis. Robotic manipulators present some special problems, due to the complex and strongly coupled nature of their subsystems, and also their wild response to subsystem failures. Additionally, there is a lack of reliability data for robots and their subsystems. There has traditionally been little emphasis on fault tolerance in the design of industrial robots, and data regarding operational robot failures is relatively scarce.