Table 1 – Terms and definitions


Definition of Term

Asset management

The management of the maintenance of physical assets of an organization throughout each asset's lifecycle.

Automatic mode

Operational mode in which the robot control system operates in accordance with the task programme (ISO 10218).


The mechanical joint (ISO 8373). Joint is used as a synonym for axis.

Condition monitoring

Acquisition and processing of information and data that indicate the state of a machine over time (ISO 13372:2012).


Controlling unit of one or more motion devices. A controller can be e.g. a specific control cabinet or a PLC.

Industrial robot

Automatically controlled, reprogrammable multipurpose manipulator, programmable in three or more axes, which can be either fixed in place or mobile for use in industrial automation applications (ISO 10218).

Industrial Robot System

system comprising industrial robot, end effectors and any machinery, equipment, devices, external auxiliary axes or sensors supporting the robot performing its task (ISO 8373)


See Axis definition.


Machine in which the mechanism usually consists of a series of segments, jointed or sliding relative to one another, for the purpose of grasping and/or moving objects (pieces or tools) usually in several degrees of freedom (ISO 8373)

Manual mode

Control state that allows for the direct control by an operator (ISO 10218).

Motion device

A motion device has as least one axis and is a multifunctional manipulator designed to move material, parts, tools or specialized devices through variable programmed motions for the performance of a variety of tasks. Examples are an industrial robot, positioner or mobile platform.

Motion device system

The whole system in which one or more motion devices and one or more controllers are integrated, e.g. a robot system.

Operating mode

State of the robot control system (ISO 8373), i.e. Controller

Operational mode

ISO 10218-1:2011 Ch.5.7 Operational Modes


Person designated to start, monitor and stop the intended operation of a robot or robot system (ISO 8373).

Teach pendant

Hand-held unit linked to the control system with which a robot can be programmed or moved (ISO 8373).

Power train

The composition of switch gears, fuses, transformers, converters, drives, motors, encoders and gears to convert power to motion of one or more axis.

Predictive maintenance

Maintenance performed as governed by condition monitoring programmes (ISO 13372:2012)

Preventive maintenance

Maintenance performed according to a fixed schedule, or according to a prescribed criterion, that detects or prevents degradation of a functional structure, system or component, in order to sustain or extend its useful life.

Protective stop

Type of interruption of operation that allows a cessation of motion for safeguarding purposes and which retains the programme logic to facilitate a restart (ISO 10218).

Safe state

A defined state of the robot which is free of hazards

Safety function

A safety rated function which will signal the controller to bring motion devices to a safe state, e.g. emergency stop, protective stop

Safety states

Set of safety functions and states which are related to a motion device system.


Runtime software or firmware of the controller.

In ISO 8373, this is called control program, and is defined like this:

Inherent set of control instructions which defines the capabilities, actions and responses of a robot or robot system

NOTE This type of program is usually generated before installation and can only be modified thereafter by the manufacturer.

Task control

Execution engine that loads and runs task programs. Synomyms for a task control are a sequence control or a flow control.

Task program

Program running on the task control.

From ISO 8373: Set of instructions for motion and auxiliary functions that define the specific intended task of the robot or robot system

NOTE 1 This type of program is usually generated after the installation of the robot and can be modified by a trained person under defined conditions.

NOTE 2 An application is a general area of work; a task is specific within the application.

Tool center point

Point defined for a given application with regards to the mechanical interface coordinate system (ISO 8373)

User level

Current assigned user role.

User roles

User roles consist of specific permissions to access different features within a software. Users can be assigned to roles.

Virtual axis

Virtual axis has no power trains directly assigned.

Annex B.1 contains examples of the described terms.