IFR press release

ISO robotics standardisation

Within the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), the robotics area is represented in the technical subcommittee ISO/TC184/SC2 "Robots and robotic devices". Its secretariat is hosted by the Swedish Standards Institute (SIS) in Stockholm. Until 2006 only robotics standardisation projects in the industrial environment  were included within the scope of ISO/TC184/SC2. In order to also include robot applications in the service robotics environment a scope and title modification of SC2 and consequently also of ISO/TC 184  was decided.

Industrial Robotics Standardisation

The new ISO safety standards for industrial robots are developed by the ISO Working Group "Safety of industrial robots" (WG3). The group consists of experts from East Asia, North America and Europe. The work is carried out in parallel with The European Committee for Standardization (CEN). Stakeholders from the industrial robot industry intend to replace their regional and national standards with these global robot safety standards.

The first part, ISO 10218-1 Robots for industrial environments - Safety requirements - Part 1: Robot, was published in 2006. It specifies requirements and provides guidance for the assurance of safety in design and construction of the robot. This part of ISO 10218 was subsequently adopted by CEN/TC 310 as a European standard and published as a national standard in different countries like the USA, Canada and European countries. It cancels and replaces the old edition of ISO 10218 dating from 1992 and the European standard EN 775:1992.

Since safety in the application of industrial robots is influenced by the design and application of the particular robot system integration, the second part, ISO 10218-2, Robots for industrial environments - Safety requirements - Part 2: Robot system and integration will provide guidance for the safeguarding of personnel during robot integration. This part of 10218 is still under development and  is expected to be published in 2010.

Non-Industrial Robotics Standardisation

The development of a safety standard for service robots in personal care applications is carried out by the ISO-Working Group (WG) 7. It has the task of developing a standard for robots in personal care, starting with non-medical applications. A distinction from non personal applications was found to be whether a human or a workpiece is the point of operation. A New Work Item Proposal (NWIP) was already submitted and agreed.

Another working group (WG 8) is investigating standardisation needs for service robots. Examples of applications could be transportation, healthcare, rehabilitation, entertainment or inspection.


In parallel with the development of safety standards, a working group (WG 1) prepares a consistent vocabulary. Due to the scope modification of ISO/TC 184/SC2 it will also include the service robotics area.  It will replace the existing vocabulary for industrial  robots (ISO 8373). A Committee Draft (CD) proposal is planned to be worked out until July 2009