ASTM E2804 - 11

    Standard Test Method for Evaluating Emergency Response Robot Capabilities: Mobility: Confined Area Obstacles: Stairs/Landings

    Active Standard ASTM E2804 | Developed by Subcommittee: E54.08

    Book of Standards Volume: 15.08


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    Significance and Use

    A main purpose of using robots in emergency response operations is to enhance the safety and effectiveness of emergency responders operating in hazardous or inaccessible environments. The testing results of the candidate robot shall describe, in a statistically significant way, how reliably the robot is able to negotiate various types of obstacles, including the specified one, and thus provide emergency responders sufficiently high levels of confidence to determine the applicability of the robot.

    This test method addresses robot performance requirements expressed by emergency responders and representatives from other interested organizations. The performance data captured within this test method are indicative of the testing robots capabilities. Having available a roster of successfully tested robots with associated performance data to guide procurement and deployment decisions for emergency responders is consistent with the guideline of Governments at all levels have a responsibility to develop detailed, robust, all-hazards response plans as stated in National Response Framework.

    The test apparatuses are scalable to constrain robot maneuverability during task performance for a range of robot sizes in confined areas associated with emergency response operations. Variants of the apparatus provide minimum lateral clearance of 2.4 m (8 ft) for robots expected to operate around environments such as cluttered city streets, parking lots, and building lobbies; minimum lateral clearance of 1.2 m (4 ft) for robots expected to operate in and around environments such as large buildings, stairwells, and urban sidewalks; minimum lateral clearance of 0.6 m (2 ft) for robots expected to operate within environments such as dwellings and work spaces, buses and airplanes, and semi-collapsed structures; minimum lateral clearance of less than 0.6 m (2 ft) with a minimum vertical clearance adjustable from 0.6 m (2 ft) to 10 cm (4 in) for robots expected to deploy through breeches and operate within sub-human size confined spaces voids in collapsed structures.

    The standard apparatus is specified to be easily fabricated to facilitate self-evaluation by robot developers and provide practice tasks for emergency responders that exercise robot actuators, sensors, and operator interfaces. The standard apparatus can also be used to support operator training and establish operator proficiency.

    Although the test method was developed first for emergency response robots, it may be applicable to other operational domains.

    1. Scope

    1.1 Purpose:

    1.1.1 The purpose of this test method is to quantitatively evaluate a teleoperated ground robots (see Terminology E2521) capability of traversing stairs with landings in confined areas.

    1.1.2 Robots shall possess a certain set of mobility capabilities, including negotiating obstacles, to suit critical operations such as emergency responses. Stairs with landings are a type of obstacle that exists in emergency response and other environments. These environments often pose constraints to robotic mobility to various degrees. This test method specifies apparatuses, procedures, and metrics to standardize this testing.

    1.1.3 The test apparatuses are scalable to provide a range of lateral dimensions to constrain the robotic mobility during task performance. Fig. 1 shows three apparatus sizes to test robots intended for different emergency response scenarios.

    1.1.4 Emergency response ground robots shall be able to handle many types of obstacles and terrain complexities. The required mobility capabilities include traversing gaps, hurdles, stairs, slopes, various types of floor surfaces or terrains, and confined passageways. Yet additional mobility requirements include sustained speeds and towing capabilities. Standard test methods are required to evaluate whether candidate robots meet these requirements.

    1.1.5 ASTM Task Group E54.08.01 on Robotics specifies a mobility test suite, which consists of a set of test methods for evaluating these mobility capability requirements. This confined area stairs/landings test method is a part of the mobility test suite. The apparatuses associated with the test methods challenge specific robot capabilities in repeatable ways to facilitate comparison of different robot models as well as particular configurations of similar robot models.

    1.1.6 The mobility test suite quantifies elemental mobility capabilities necessary for ground robot intended for emergency response applications. As such, users of this standard can use either the entire suite or a subset based on their particular performance requirements. Users are also allowed to weight particular test methods or particular metrics within a test method differently based on their specific performance requirements. The testing results should collectively represent an emergency response ground robots overall mobility performance. These performance data can be used to guide procurement specifications and acceptance testing for robots intended for emergency response applications.

    Note 1—Additional test methods within the suite are anticipated to be developed to address additional or advanced robotic mobility capability requirements, including newly identified requirements and even for new application domains.

    1.2 Performing LocationThis test method shall be performed in a testing laboratory or the field where the specified apparatus and environmental conditions are implemented.

    1.3 The values stated in SI units are to be regarded as the standard. The values given in parentheses are not precise mathematical conversions to inch-pound units. They are close approximate equivalents for the purpose of specifying material dimensions or quantities that are readily available to avoid excessive fabrication costs of test apparatuses while maintaining repeatability and reproducibility of the test method results. These values given in parentheses are provided for information only and are not considered standard.

    1.4 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.


    FIG. 1 Mobility: Confined Area Obstacles: Stairs/Landings Apparatuses


    2. Referenced Documents (purchase separately) The documents listed below are referenced within the subject standard but are not provided as part of the standard.

    ASTM Standards

    E2521 Terminology for Urban Search and Rescue Robotic Operations

    E2592 Practice for Evaluating Cache Packaged Weight and Volume of Robots for Urban Search and Rescue

    Additional Documents

    NISTSpecialPublicati Autonomy Levels for Unmanned Systems (ALFUS) Framework, Volume I: Terminology, Version 2.0 Available from National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), 100 Bureau Dr., Stop 1070, Gaithersburg, MD 20899-1070, http://www.nist.gov/customcf/get_pdf.cfm?pub_id=824705.


    UNSPSC Code

    UNSPSC Code


    Referencing This Standard

    DOI: 10.1520/E2804-11

    ASTM International is a member of CrossRef.

    Citation Format

    ASTM E2804-11, Standard Test Method for Evaluating Emergency Response Robot Capabilities: Mobility: Confined Area Obstacles: Stairs/Landings, ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA, 2011, www.astm.org

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