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Thread: OT: Interesting new automation problem?

  1. #1
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    Default OT: Interesting new automation problem?

    What to do with your automated workforce when fire breaks out?

    https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/o...ters-gwtj0zqd7

    Master kill switch to turn eveything off?

    Robotic fire fighting force in house?Why not have a few ready to zip over to the block grid where the fire is at and drop some Co2 on the issue until human help arrives?
    I just need one more tool,just one!

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    It sounds like their disaster preparedness plan was either not completed or not implemented. In a disaster the equipment should do something safe, like retreating to an alcove or park at the side of an aisle.
    At the end of the project, there is a profound difference between spare parts and extra parts.

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    Robot pickers should have fled the fire by calling for an autonomous truck.

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    Quote Originally Posted by danlb View Post
    It sounds like their disaster preparedness plan was either not completed or not implemented. In a disaster the equipment should do something safe, like retreating to an alcove or park at the side of an aisle.
    First, they have to be "aware" of the problem. Once a problem requiring shutdown i detected, they can be given orders to do something specific, like going to their maitenance positions, or other positioning where they are all in different places (nt trying to all be in one place).

    Of course, the location of the problem needs to be known, and preferably, the robots would go to places AWAY from the problem, so they do not become part of it. A blind global command to return to parking positions could send one or more into the fire, adding to the problem, and likely obstructing the solution.
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  5. #5
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    Why complicate things so much? Holy crap! Just turn the freakin' power off. Doesn't matter how
    "intelligent" the robots are--with no power they're "dead"...
    Keith
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    Or just plain STOP wherever they were. There should be multiple ways of initiating that halt mode, including many emergency stop buttons all over the place.

    In the US, the electrical code requires there be a single, accessible point where power to the building can be easily and quickly disconnected. Wouldn't the UK have something similar? Why wouldn't the firefighters just pull the switch?



    Quote Originally Posted by danlb View Post
    It sounds like their disaster preparedness plan was either not completed or not implemented. In a disaster the equipment should do something safe, like retreating to an alcove or park at the side of an aisle.
    Paul A.

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  7. #7
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    Sounds easy, and in some situations it would work.

    But the robots would be in random places, many with loads on board, potentially forcing emergency personnel to weave their way through and under robots that were turned off partway through an operation involving a load.

    Not a reliable situation. Think of ordering all the human workers to freeze exactly how and where they are. That gives you an idea what the result would be of what you ask. You would not do that, you'd have them put down their stuff and book it out of there, naturally to get them out of danger, but also to get them out of the way, so you have a clear field to deal with the problem.

    You have robots, and some sort of control system. Easy enough to have them all return to some known place out of the way, without loads being held in the air. THEN hit the power. If any of the robots are incapable of following the order for any reason, you have lost nothing vs cutting power, but you have gained the rest of them clearing the area.
    Last edited by J Tiers; 02-10-2019 at 11:25 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by LKeithR View Post
    Why complicate things so much? Holy crap! Just turn the freakin' power off. Doesn't matter how
    "intelligent" the robots are--with no power they're "dead"...
    -Except the actual mobile units are self-powered, with onboard batteries, not fed through cables or powered rails. The only solution is to have a "go home" command that can be sent out, but as noted, that needs to be location dependent. It has to be a "get away from the fire" command, which means the system needs to know where the problem is.

    MY question is, didn't the place have any freakin' sprinklers? Probably not, as a sprinkler discharge would likely destroy a lot of the product and may well damage the electronics as well... but then, so would a fire, so...?

    Doc.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doc Nickel View Post
    .....

    MY question is, didn't the place have any freakin' sprinklers? Probably not, as a sprinkler discharge would likely destroy a lot of the product and may well damage the electronics as well... but then, so would a fire, so...?

    Doc.
    Judging by the pic in the link, the fire without the sprinklers destroyed ALL the product, and ALL the equipment, not to mention the entire building. Seems as if a small area of damage would have been preferable to total destruction.

    The go "home" command is good as long as one of them does not bring a pallet of flaming and fire-dripping stuff with it.... Groceries could include olive oil, and all sorts of vegetable oils in thermoplastic containers.... a "return home" command could spread that all over the place.

    There would have to be some "smarts" to the system.
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    Better a stay in place command than a go home. If a robot is on fire or carrying a payload on fire the last thing I would want is for it to be packed in with a bunch of other robots all with nice flammable lithium ion batteries.

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