Work Item
ASTM WK83509

New Test Method for Exoskeleton Use: Crawling

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 incorporate various crawling techniques which can be included, as appropriate, in quantitative evaluations of exoskeleton (see Terminology F3323) safety and/or performance.
1.1.2 Exoskeletons possess a certain set of allowable exoskeleton user movement capabilities, including user-motion adaptability, to suit operations in market sectors such as: industrial/occupational, military, response, medical or recreational. Environments in these typical sectors often pose constraints on exoskeleton user movement to varying degrees. Being able to crawl, as intended by the user or test requestor, while using an exoskeleton can be essential for using exoskeletons in a variety of tasks (e.g., installing flooring, low-profile soldier movement, pipe installation in crawl spaces). This test method specifies test setup, procedure, and recording to standardize the crawling task for testing exoskeleton user movement.
1.1.3 Exoskeletons need to function as intended, regardless of types of tasks and terrain complexities (e.g., dirt, metal, masonry, rock, wood). Required movement capabilities may include, for example: walking, running, crawling, climbing, traversing gaps, stairs, slopes, various types of floor surfaces or terrains, and/or 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 listed in 1.1.2 (and possibly other applications). The F48.03 test suite consists of a set of test methods for evaluating exoskeleton capability requirements. Users of this standard may 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, or they can be used for acceptance testing. They can also be used to train someone to use exoskeletons for specific applications. This crawling test method is a part of the test suite. For exoskeletons that need to be able to allow crawling, the setup, procedure, and apparatuses associated with this test method challenge specific exoskeleton capabilities in repeatable ways to facilitate comparison of different exoskeleton models or to quantify an exoskeleton’s capabilities to accomplish certain tasks.
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 Exoskeleton – The exoskeleton shall be used as intended by the manufacturer to perform the test described in this test method. If the exoskeleton is not designed for crawling use and the test requestor intends to use the exoskeleton to perform a crawling test (e.g., for research, development of crawling-capable use by a manufacturer, crawling training as in military applications), appropriate manufacturer approvals should be sought prior to performing the test method.
1.3 Performing Location—This test method shall be performed in a testing laboratory or at a site that represents the place where the exoskeleton will be used.
1.4 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.
1.5 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.
1.6 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.


Exoskeleton; exosuit; crawl; industrial/occupational; military; response; medical; recreational


This standard is part of a suite of exoskeleton standards testing performance and safety of exo's.

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: 09-20-2022

Technical Contact: Roger Bostelman

Item: 000