ASTM WK44323

    New Test Method for Evaluating Ground Response Robot Manipulation: Grasp, Lift, and Place In Surrounding Area

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    Developed by Subcommittee: E54.09 | Committee E54 | Contact Staff Manager


    1. Scope

    The purpose of this test method, as a part of a suite of Manipulation test methods, is to quantitatively evaluate the manipulator subsystem of a remotely teleoperated robots capability of interacting with entities encountered in confined areas, particularly in terms of the strength of the manipulation. The apparatus associated with this test method challenges specific robot capabilities in repeatable ways to facilitate direct comparison of different robot models as well as particular configurations of similar robot models. The apparatus specifies spatial partitions and notional objects that are meant to abstract the types of challenges with which a robot being used in emergency response operations might be confronted. This apparatus can facilitate testing in temperature extremes and other environmental conditions such as darkness, smoke, and rain. The robotic manipulator is to be evaluated on the envelope of its effective reach and strength of manipulating the standardized notional objects. A secondary metric, the time the robot takes to complete the tasks, provides a relative indication of performance. The suite of Manipulation test methods quantifies a corresponding set of elemental capabilities necessary for ground robot emergency response applications. As such, the suite should be used collectively to capture the overall manipulation performance. The current, first set of the test methods includes gasping dexterity, directed perception, strength, and door opening and traversing. Additional test methods will be developed within the suite to fully address robot manipulation capabilities requirements. This suite of test methods characterizes the manipulation capabilities of ground robots intended to be operated in human-scale, complex environments with variables including terrains, lighting, temperature, etc. Robots under test shall be teleoperated via operator control units (OCUs) that are out of sight and sound of the test apparatuses but within the radio or tethered communications range. The robotic configuration, as to be tested, shall be specified for all the subsystems and is to remain the same for all the suites of the test methods, as appropriate. Any variation in robot configuration will result in retesting for all the suites of the test methods to provide a comprehensive perspective of the performance for the particular robotic variant. Systems with assistive capabilities or autonomous behaviors are not specifically rewarded in the performance metrics. However, any associated demonstration of improved operator/robot performance, efficiency, and/or survivability under test will be captured.

    This standard is needed because there currently is no formal way of measuring such manipulation capabilities for robots applied to emergency response operations. This standard could be used by federal, state, and local agencies to help them make purchasing decisions. It would also be used by robot manufacturers to better understand the requirements for applying robots in the field. These test methods were developed specifically for emergency response robots, but applicable to other application domains. They can be used to ascertain operator proficiencies during training. They can provide practice tasks that exercise robotic control, including actuators, sensors, and operator interfaces. They can also provide performance objectives for the corresponding subsystems on the robots.


    emergency response, grasp, lift, manipulation, operator control unit (OCU), teleoperation, responders, robot, test suite, urban search and rescue (US&R)

    The title and scope are in draft form and are under development within this ASTM Committee.

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    Work Item Status

    Date Initiated:

    Technical Contact:
    Hui-Min Huang

    Draft Under Development