Work Item
ASTM WK44323

New Test Method for Evaluating Ground Response Robot Dexterity: Lift and Place

1. Scope

The purpose of this test method, as a part of a suite of Dexterity test methods, is to quantitatively evaluate the dexterity subsystem of a remotely teleoperated robots capability of lifting heavy loads. 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 lifting the standardized notional objects. A secondary metric, average task rate, provides a relative indication of performance. The suite of Dexterity 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 dexterity 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 dexterity capabilities requirements. This suite of test methods characterizes the dexterity 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.


abstain; autonomy; bomb squad; C-IED; counter-improvised explosive device; emergency response; dexterity; emergency responder; manipulation; manipulator; mobility, OCU; operator control unit; operator station; oriented strand board; OSB; repetition; responder, response, robot; teleoperation; test suite; urban search and rescue; US&R; USAR


This standard is needed because there currently is no formal way of measuring such dexterity 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.

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


Developed by Subcommittee: E54.09

Committee: E54

Staff Manager: Kevin Shanahan

Work Item Status

Date Initiated: 12-06-2013

Technical Contact: Ann Virts

Item: 000