Work Item
ASTM WK81267

New Test Method for Exoskeleton Use: Confined Space: Vertical Movement

1. Scope

1.1 Purpose:
1.1.1 The purpose of this test method, as a part of a suite of exoskeleton use test methods, is to quantitatively evaluate an exoskeleton (see Terminology F3323) performance and/or safety of usage by the exoskeleton user (see section 1.4) in confined spaces with vertical user movement.
1.1.2 Exoskeletons shall possess a certain set of allowable exoskeleton user movement capabilities, including user-motion adaptability, to suit operations such as: industrial, military, response, medical or recreational. Environments in these typical sectors often pose constraints to exoskeleton user movement to various degrees. Being able to pass-through and/or maneuver effectively in confined spaces is essential for exoskeleton deployment for a variety of tasks. This test method specifies apparatuses to standardize this confined space task for testing exoskeleton user movement along the vertical axis.
1.1.3 Exoskeletons shall be able to handle many types of task and terrain complexities. The required movement capabilities include, for example: walking, running, crawling, climbing, traversing gaps, hurdles, stairs, slopes, various types of floor surfaces or terrains, and confined spaces. Standard test methods are required to evaluate whether or not exoskeletons meet these requirements.
1.1.4 ASTM Subcommittee F48.03 develops and maintains international standards for task performance and environmental considerations that includes but is not limited to, standards for safety, quality and efficiency. This subcommittee aims to develop standards for any exoskeleton applications as exemplified as in 1.1.2. The F48.03 test suite, consists of a set of test methods for evaluating exoskeleton capability requirements. This confined space: horizontal movement test method is a part of the test suite. The apparatuses associated with the test methods challenge specific exoskeleton capabilities in repeatable ways to facilitate comparison of different exoskeleton models or to facilitate application of exoskeleton capabilities to intended tasks.
1.1.5 The test methods quantify elemental exoskeleton use capabilities necessary for sector applications listed in 1.1.2 and perhaps others. As such, users of this standard should use either the entire suite or a subset based on their particular requirements. Users are also allowed to weight particular test methods or particular metrics within a test method differently based on their specific requirements. The testing results should collectively represent an exoskeleton’s overall safety and/or performance as required for the task. These performance data can be used: to guide procurement specifications, for acceptance testing, and for training to use exoskeletons intended for specified applications.
NOTE 1—Additional test methods within the suite are anticipated to be developed to address additional exoskeleton capability requirements, including newly identified requirements and even for new application domains.
1.2 Performing Location—This test method shall be performed in a testing laboratory or the field where the specified apparatus and environmental conditions are 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.


exoskeleton, exosuit, confined space, industrial, military, response, medical, recreational


In alignment of F3523 - 21 Standard Test Method for Exoskeleton Use: Confined Space: Horizontal Movement, this new work item provides a test method for vertical movement.

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


Developed by Subcommittee: F48.03

Committee: F48

Staff Manager: Nora Nimmerichter

Work Item Status

Date Initiated: 03-15-2022

Technical Contact: Roger Bostelman

Item: 000