Significance and Use
5.1 There is strong evidence that exoskeletons can physically augment and assist users. They are typically designed and optimized with specific tasks in mind and initially tested in controlled lab or field settings. However, in the real world exoskeletons encounter less structured environments and situations (for example, hospital rooms, factory floors, construction sites, or even personal homes). In order to accelerate the adoption of exoskeletons in society, understanding their safety in the presence of perturbations is helpful. The testing results of the exoskeleton shall describe the extent to which the exoskeleton improves, inhibits, or maintains a user’s ability to recover from stumbles, thus providing exoskeleton wearers and prescribers (for example, patients, clinicians, industry leaders, factory workers) with additional information about device performance and expectations.
5.2 The standard test apparatus and setup (see Section ) is specified to be easily fabricated and implemented in gait or motion analysis laboratories. Variants of the apparatus, control algorithm, and test setup are acceptable to allow implementation in various lab settings with ranging experimental capabilities. The standard test setup and apparatus can also be used to support training and establish proficiency of exoskeleton users, as well as provide manufacturers with information about the performance of their exoskeleton(s) for tasks.
1.1.1 The purpose of this test method is to evaluate the extent to which an exoskeleton (see Section ) improves, inhibits, or maintains (that is, does not affect) a user’s ability to recover from a stumble perturbation.
1.1.2 Exoskeletons are designed to assist specific tasks and initially tested in controlled lab or controlled field settings. However, in the real world exoskeletons encounter less structured environments and situations (for example, hospital rooms, factory floors, construction sites). Even without exoskeletons people will stumble (that is, trip) or scuff their foot. It would be helpful to understand how wearing an exoskeleton affects a person’s ability to recover from a stumble perturbation. Is one’s ability to recover hampered, enhanced, or unaltered when using an exoskeleton? This test method specifies test setup, procedure, and recording to standardize testing exoskeleton user stumble recovery.
1.2 Performing Location—This test method shall be performed in a testing laboratory where the specified apparatus and environmental conditions are available and implemented.
1.3 Units—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, health, and environmental practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.
1.5 This international standard was developed in accordance with internationally recognized principles on standardization established in the Decision on Principles for the Development of International Standards, Guides and Recommendations issued by the World Trade Organization Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Committee.