I am looking for possible ISO standards for robot safety specifically for software.

I have come across this presentation that mentions many ISO standards and it's not very clear which exactly applies to software. The most probable ones are:

  • ISO 10218-1
  • ISO 13849-1 / IEC 62061
  • IEC 61508
  • ISO/TS 15066

The safety related to software seems to be categorized as Level 4 and Level 6 in the presentation above.

I would appreciate if anyone with knowledge in this area could point me to the right standard. They are quite expensive so I could simply go through them all to see which one applies.

As a side note, some standards like C have their standard "draft" freely available. Could there be free copies of drafts for those standards too?

  • $\begingroup$ I happened to find ISO 10218-1, thanks to the government of republic of Bulgaria. $\endgroup$
    – Shahbaz
    Dec 4, 2014 at 13:11
  • $\begingroup$ It depends on industry the final product is intended for. Obviously, the medical, military and home use robots will have totally different safety requirements. $\endgroup$
    – Eugene Sh.
    Dec 4, 2014 at 14:31
  • $\begingroup$ @EugeneSh. I see. How about home and/or industry? $\endgroup$
    – Shahbaz
    Dec 4, 2014 at 15:43

1 Answer 1


I believe the EN 61508 is the most important one from the software point of view. But it is not only valid for robots. This is one of the most important standard for industrial development. It defines the safety of a system, that it has to be free of "unjustifyable risks"

There are all the requirements for: - rts - redundancy (including redundant software) - SIL - software development process and documentation

More detailed:
61508-1 is pretty general
61508-2 is lot about electronics, including programmable electronic parts
61508-3 is the main part about software
61508-4 has nothing to do with software, just some acronym's and the rest of the overhead you need to understand the rest
61508-5 How to calculate SIL
61508-6 Examples of Part 2 and 3
61508-7 Another genral part about application

From this standard lot of other standards are inherit:
61511 for process industry
60335 for home
60601 for medical applications
62061 for industrial tools

For source I have some university scripts, unfortunatly they are in german:
about 61508
general info about SIL

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Thanks a lot! This is exactly what I have been looking for. I found the pdf of 61508-3 here. $\endgroup$
    – Shahbaz
    Dec 5, 2014 at 10:25
  • $\begingroup$ I think it is important to note that the actual requirements depend on the SIL which is derived from system domain (industry/home/medical/industrial) and context analyzation. Usually different parts of the overall system will have different SIL requirements. E.g. the requirements for high level software like the robot control system could have different requirements than low-level software of embedded systems. The justification part is often not obvious because one needs to have information spanning all levels of abstraction. $\endgroup$
    – thinwybk
    Dec 17, 2017 at 15:15

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