Work Item
ASTM WK84262

New Test Method for Exoskeleton Use: Ladders

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) safety (see section 1.4) and/or performance for use of ladders.
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/occupational, military, response, medical or recreational. Environments in these typical sectors often pose constraints to exoskeleton user movement to various degrees. Being able to use ladders, as intended by the user or test requestor, while using an exoskeleton is essential for exoskeleton deployment for a variety of tasks (e.g., working at height, accessing high spaces and tall vehicles). This test method specifies test setup, procedure, and recording to standardize this ladder-use 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., metal, masonry, rock, wood). Exoskeletons shall be able to handle many types of task and terrain complexities. The required movement capabilities may include, for example: walking, running, crawling, climbing, traversing gaps, hurdles, 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 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 ladder test method is a part of the test suite. The setup, procedure, and apparatuses associated with the test methods challenge specific exoskeleton capabilities in repeatable ways to facilitate comparison of different exoskeleton models or exoskeleton capabilities to 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 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 ladder use and the test requestor intends to use the exoskeleton to perform a ladder-use test (e.g., for research, development of ladder-capable use by a manufacturer, ladder training as in industrial applications), the test method may be used and 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 the field where the specified apparatus and environmental conditions are implemented.
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.


ladder; exoskeleton; military; response; industrial


This standard is part of a test method suite being developed for exoskeletons, including: stairs, gait, hurdles, obstacle avoidance, etc. Users are within the military, emergency response, construction, and others where ladders are used.

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: 11-21-2022

Technical Contact: Roger Bostelman