Robotic tech vest (RTV) is a special wearable equipment protecting workers near industrial robots. It is similar to a high-visibility jacket but for robots. Robots can sense a vest from a distance and avoid moving into it, thus protecting the wearer from collisions.[1]


The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has studied the topic of workers' safety in the areas of operating robots and concluded: "Studies indicate that many robot accidents occur during non-routine operating conditions, such as programming, maintenance, testing, setup, or adjustment. During many of these operations the worker may temporarily be within the robot's working envelope where unintended operations could result in injuries."[2][3] Before employing RTVs, workers marked out the area where they would be working to enable the robotic route planner to smartly route around that area.[2]

Operation in warehouse

In 2018, Amazon introduced robotic tech vests in 25 warehouses to protect workers from robot collisions.[4] This kind of equipment is need in the warehouse, where human workers and robots cooperate. Additionally to the general obstacle detection of the robots, the RTV ensures that workers are detected as obstacles. It allows the robots to detect the human from farther away and update its trajectory.[5] A robotic tech vest is a combo of a belt and suspenders combo.[5] As according to Amazon in 2019, RTV has been introduced to more than 25 sites and more than 1 million activations were completed.[5][1] The workers are safe with RTVs when they enter the area to fix a robotic system or retrieve fallen items.[1] Amazon claimed RTVs to be successful in 2019.[1]

Difference to collaborative robots

The technology of robotic tech vest stands in contrast to the collaborative robots approach.[5] In case of collaborative robots, the RTVs are not needed.

See also


  1. ^ a b c d Heater, Brian (18 January 2019). "Amazon built an electronic vest to improve worker/robot interactions". TechCrunch. Retrieved 18 January 2024.
  2. ^ a b Cohen, Nancy; Xplore, Tech. "Amazon's safety wearable is for human-robot workspace". Retrieved 18 January 2024.
  3. ^ "Robotics". Occupational Safety and Health Administration Contact. Retrieved 18 January 2024.
  4. ^ "Amazon's Robotic Tech Vest Protects Humans From Robots". PCMAG. Retrieved 17 January 2024.
  5. ^ a b c d Vincent, James (21 January 2019). "Amazon warehouse workers are getting utility belts that ward off robots". The Verge. Retrieved 17 January 2024.