Work Item
ASTM WK54403

New Test Method for Evaluating Ground Response Robot Mobility: Traverse Mud

1. Scope

The purpose of this test method, as a part of a suite of mobility test methods, is to quantitatively evaluate a remotely teleoperated robots capability of traversing in complex terrain in confined areas. 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 a test course filled with mud. This apparatus can fit into a standard ISO shipping container to facilitate testing in temperature extremes and other environmental conditions such as darkness, smoke, rain, etc. The primary metric is whether the robot is able to fully traverse the specified route for a specified, statistically significant number of repetitions. A secondary metric, the time the robot takes to complete the traverse task, provides a relative indication of performance. The suite of mobility 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 mobility performance. The current, first set of the test methods include sustained speed on a flat surface, gap crossing, traverses on inclined planes, stairs, hurdles, continuous ramp terrains, crossing ramp terrains, symmetric step-field terrains, sand and gravel based terrains, and towing tasks. Additional test methods will be developed within the suite to fully address robot mobility capabilities requirements. This suite of test methods characterizes the mobility 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, except when the communication is the subject of the testing. 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.


C-IED, counter-IED, emergency, mobility, operator control unit (OCU), remote teleoperation, responders, response, robot, task, test, test suite, traverse, urban search and rescue (US&R):


These test methods were developed specifically for emergency response robots, they may be 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: 05-03-2016

Technical Contact: Ann Virts

Item: 000