Robot System Reliability and Safety: A Modern Approach, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Robot System Reliability and Safety

A Modern Approach, 1st Edition

By B.S. Dhillon

CRC Press

259 pages | 39 B/W Illus.

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pub: 2015-04-22
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As robots are used more and more to perform a variety of tasks in a range of fields, it is imperative to make the robots as reliable and safe as possible. Yet no book currently covers robot reliability and safety within one framework. Robot System Reliability and Safety: A Modern Approach presents up-to-date information on robot reliability, safety, and related areas in a single volume, eliminating the need to consult diverse sources.

After introducing historical, mathematical, and introductory aspects, the book presents methods for analyzing robot system reliability and safety. It next focuses on topics related to robot reliability, including classifications of robot failures and their causes and hydraulic and electric robots’ reliability analysis. The book then explains the analysis of robot-related safety and accidents, covers key elements of robot maintenance and robotics applications in maintenance and repair, and addresses human factors and safety considerations in robotics workplaces. The book concludes with chapters on robot testing, costing, and failure data as well as six mathematical models for reliability and safety analysis.

Written by a well-known expert in reliability engineering, this book will be useful to system, design, reliability, and safety engineers along with other engineering professionals working in the area of robotics. It can also be used in courses on system engineering, reliability engineering, and safety engineering.


"This book does a good job of assembling the pertinent reliability engineering mathematics and techniques in a single volume and applying them to illustrative examples. The examples are oriented toward industrial robots and robot workspaces in manufacturing facilities."

—John M. Dolan, The Robotics Institute, Carnegie Mellon University

"… simple and elegant presentation … easy to read and understand … A very useful guidebook for beginners in reliability and safety … a novel approach to robot systems."

—Professor Krzysztof Kolowrocki, Gdynia Maritime University

"Well-organized content, which meets the [needs of] professionals and practitioners in the field of robot and reliability."

—Kouroush Jenab, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Daytona Beach

"… a treasure of current information in a single volume … extremely pragmatic and very easy to use not only for practicing engineers but also for undergraduate/graduate students and researchers. This book provides a very comprehensive treatment of the subject and is written in a simple and easy-to-understand language … superbly organized and very well presented by translating the most difficult technical concepts into easy-to-use language."

—Dr. Subramanyam Naidu Rayapati, President & CEO, Agile CloudTech, LLC

"There are many examples and illustrations … [that] provide a better understanding of dependability (reliability, safety, and maintainability) problems in robots. The author discusses various mathematical models, analytical techniques, and problems of practical significances. Readers interested in robotics who are not familiar with dependability issues can grasp basic techniques after studying the book. Moreover, they can continue deeper studies in the referenced literature according to the outlined roadmap. This book presents essential elements of robot dependability; it can be suggested as the primary text for courses on robotics and can also be useful (secondary reading) in courses on system reliability and maintainability, automation, etc."

—Janusz Sosnowski, Institute of Computer Science, Warsaw University of Technology

"The sequence of presentation is logical. Chapter 9 is especially useful. What is important – particularly when this book purports to be using a modern approach – is the application of computer software packages for doing the various data-intensive analysis. This book would attract a lot more audience of technical background (i.e. the no- number-crunching sort) if an additional chapter is devoted to this practical and rather essential aspect."

—T N Goh, National University of Singapore

"… Prof. Dhillon has produced yet another masterpiece which is readable, easy to understand and ready to use book for robot system designer. … The mathematical derivations are clearly explained and understandable and will compel designers to use it during system design phase."

—Prof. B.K Rout, Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani, Coordinator, Center for Robotics and Intelligent Systems (CRIS)

"… provides a balance on preliminary introductory topics and advanced contents. The collection of possible causes of robot failure and their measures provides the complete education to be provided at various levels of an industry using robots. The measures of reliability and safety aspects do help the maintenance teams in their study and planning. Overall, the focus of the book emphasizes on the importance of keeping safety as the focus of the robot’s utilization."

—Dr Ekta Singla, IIT Ropar, Punjab, India

Table of Contents



Robot System Reliability/Safety-Related Facts, Figures, and Examples

Terms and Definitions

Useful Sources for Obtaining Information on Reliability and Safety of Robot Systems

Scope of the Book

Basic Mathematical Concepts


Arithmetic Mean and Mean Deviation

Boolean Algebra Laws

Probability Definition and Properties

Probability Distribution-Related Definitions

Probability Distributions

Laplace Transform Definition, Common Laplace Transforms, and Final-Value Theorem Laplace Transform

Solving First-Order Differential Equations Using Laplace Transforms

Reliability and Safety Basics


Bathtub Hazard Rate Curve

General Reliability-Related Formulas

Reliability Configurations

Need for Safety and the Role of Engineers with Respect to Safety

Classifications of Product Hazards and Common Mechanical Injuries

Organization Tasks for Product Safety and Safety Management Principles

Accident-Causation Theories

Methods for Performing Reliability and Safety Analysis of Robot Systems


Failure Modes and Effect Analysis

The Markov Method

Fault Tree Analysis

Technique of Operations Review

Hazard and Operability Analysis

Interface Safety Analysis

Probability Tree Method

Robot Reliability


Classifications of Robot Failures and Their Causes and Corrective Measures

Robot Effectiveness Dictating Factors and Robot Reliability Survey Results

Robot-Related Reliability Measures

Robot Reliability Analysis Methods and Models for Performing Robot Reliability Studies

Reliability Analysis of Hydraulic and Electric Robots

Robot Safety


Robot Safety: Problems and Hazards

Roles of Robot Manufacturers and Users in Robot Safety

Safety Considerations in Robot Design, Installation, Programming, and Operation and Maintenance Phases

Robot-Related Safety Problems Causing Weak Points in Planning, Design, and Operation

Robot Safeguard Approaches

Common Robot Safety Features and Their Functions

Safety Considerations for Robotized Welding Operations

Robot Accidents and Analysis


Some Examples of Robot-Related Accidents

Robot Accidents: Causes and Sources

Effects of Robot-Related Accidents

Robot-Related Accidents at Manufacturer and User Facilities

Useful Recommendations to Prevent Human Injury by Robots

Methods for Performing Robot Accident Analysis

Robot Maintenance and Areas of Robotics Applications in Maintenance and Repair


Robot Maintenance-Related Needs and Maintenance Types

Commonly Used Tools to Maintain a Robot and Measuring Instruments and Tooling for Periodic Robot Inspections

Robot Diagnosis and Monitoring Approaches

Useful Guidelines to Safeguard Robot Maintenance Personnel and Safeguarding Methods for Use during the Robot Maintenance Process

Models for Performing Robot Maintenance Analysis

Areas of Robotics Applications in Maintenance and Repair

Human Factors and Safety Considerations in Robotics Workplaces


Human Factors-Related Issues during the Robotic Systems’ Factory Integration Process

Common Robot and Robot-Related Human Tasks

Rules of Robotics in Regard to Humans and Advantages and Disadvantages of Robotization with Respect to Human Factors

Humans at Risk from Robots and Risk-Reducing Measures to Prevent Robot-Related Human Accidents

Useful Guidelines to Safeguard Robot Teachers and Operators

Approaches for Limiting Robot Movements

Methods for Analysis of Safety and Human Error in Robotics Workplaces

Robot Testing, Costing, and Failure Data


Robot Performance Testing

Robot Performance Testing Methods

Robot Reliability Testing

Robot Testing and Start-Up Safety-Related Factors

Robot Project Cost

Models for Estimating Robot-Related Costs

Robot Life Cycle Cost Estimation Models

Useful Methods for Making Financial Decisions about Robotization

Failure Data Uses with Regard to Robots and Failure Reporting and Documentation System for Robots

Main Data Sources for Reliability

Repair and Inspection Records-Related Requirements for Robots

Mathematical Models for Analysis of Robot-Related Reliability and Safety


Model I

Model II

Model III

Model IV

Model V

Model VI

Appendix A: Bibliography—Literature on the Reliability and Safety of Robot Systems


Problems and References appear at the end of each chapter.

About the Author

Dr. B.S. Dhillon is a professor of engineering management in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Ottawa. He has published over 376 articles on reliability engineering, maintainability, safety, and engineering management and authored 42 books on various aspects of healthcare, engineering management, design, reliability, safety, and quality. He received a PhD in industrial engineering from the University of Windsor.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING / Industrial Health & Safety