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reMARS revisited: Functional safety product development for autonomous mobile robots

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reMARS revisited: Functional safety product development for autonomous mobile robots

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[Editor’s note: The International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS) is taking place this week in Kyoto, Japan. IROS focuses on future directions in robotics, and the latest approaches, designs, and outcomes, so we’re sharing this interview and presentation on Amazon’s approach to safety certification of autonomous mobile robots.]

In June 2022, Amazon re:MARS, the company’s in-person event that explores advancements and practical applications within machine learning, automation, robotics, and space (MARS), took place in Las Vegas. The event brought together thought leaders and technical experts building the future of artificial intelligence and machine learning, and included keynote talks, innovation spotlights, and a series of breakout-session talks.

Now, in our re:MARS revisited series, Amazon Science is taking a look back at some of the keynotes, and breakout session talks from the conference. We’ve asked presenters three questions about their talks, and provide the full video of their presentation.

On June 23, Nia Jetter, senior principal technologist in Global Robotics, and Justin Croyle, principal safety engineer with Amazon Robotics, presented the talk, “Functional safety product development for autonomous mobile robots”. Their session focused on functional safety certification for autonomous mobile robots and an Amazon process that is paving the way for a certification of autonomous mobile robots now and in the future.

What was the central theme of your presentation?

There are an abundance of challenges for functional safety in the autonomy space — especially as we move toward deployment of autonomous systems in unstructured environments. These challenges can also be viewed as opportunities to shape what the future of functional safety looks like through new innovations in technology, process, and safety tools.

In what applications do you expect this work to have the biggest impact?

This presentation will have the greatest impact for teams dealing with robotics and autonomy. However, the basic principals dealing with innovation can be applied to any technological development, particularly technology that involves hardware.

What are the key points you hope audiences take away from your talk?

  • Risk assessment is foundational to analysis and design of safety systems.
  • Requirements derived from risk assessments and customer needs inform the design and implementation of your safety system.
  • When considering design, especially as it applies to compliance to applicable standards, there is ambiguity in the space of autonomy. This ambiguity offers functional safety engineers latitude to streamline process and innovate.
  • New functional safety tools make functional safety development more accessible, more agile and enable further innovation in design.

Functional safety product development for autonomous mobile robots



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