New JIS as Safety Standards for Robot Services Established

– Effort for dissemination of robot services in a safe and secure manner –

As a solution to labor shortages caused by a falling birth rate and an aging population, commercialization of robot services using guide robots, nursing-care robots or assisting robots has been advancing in spaces where ordinary people present, such as airports and nursing-care facilities. In this situation, the safety of robots should be secured for achieving the safe coexistence of people and robots in such spaces.

Requirements that operators of robot services or robot service providers should observe in operating such robots in a safe manner were compiled. The requirements were established as JIS Y 1001, which is the first JIS in the service industry established under the Revised Industrial Standardization Act (New JIS Act).

It is expected that industries taking advantage of the JIS will be able to contribute to dissemination of robot services. It is also expected that new overseas markets of Japan-originated robots will be created and expanded if Japan files a proposal for international standards for robot services based on the JIS and such international standards are established.

1. Background to the establishment of the new JIS

Current labor shortages brought about by a falling birth rate and an aging population have been causing significant challenges for all industries in Japan. As one of the solutions to this situation, industries place expectations on the introduction of robot services into society. A variety of service robots, e.g., guide robots, delivery robots, nursing-care robots and assisting robots, are expected to play significant roles in places where ordinary people and such robots coexist, such as airports, commercial facilities and nursing-care facilities. In such situations, the safety of robots should be secured to prevent any harm to people.

Examples of services that robots coexisting with people provide

2. Points of the establishment of the new JIS

As the first step to securing the safety of robots, in February 2014, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) issued ISO 13482, which are international safety standards that manufacturers of service robots are required to observe and were established based on Japan’s proposal. Since then, the ISO member countries have been advancing efforts for disseminating the standards.

In line with this, requirements on safe management and operation of robot services that robot service providers should observe in providing services using a variety of robots were systemized and standardized. The requirements were established as the new JIS Y1001: Requirements for safety management systems for robot services using service robots. This JIS is the first domestic standards in the field of services under the New JIS Act.

The new JIS stipulate rules for risk assessment, safety management, education, operation systems, management systems and other actions that robot service providers should conduct to secure the safety of service robots in providing services for ordinary people in public spaces etc. and to take into consideration any impacts of such robots on third parties around the robots, which are situations different from those for industrial robots used only in factories.

3. Expected effects

Not only Japan but also the rest of the world need safety management systems for services using service robots. The new JIS are expected to contribute to dissemination of safe robot services among people inside and outside Japan. Moreover, Japan will strive to develop a proposal for making the JIS into new international standards so that Japan-originated robots are able to play leading roles worldwide.

Joint Press Release with the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI)

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