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ASTM E2828/E2828M-20

ASTM E2828/E2828M-20

Standard Test Method for Evaluating Response Robot Mobility Using Symmetric Stepfields Terrains

2020-04-10 /Active
Significance and Use:

5.1 This test method is part of an overall suite of related test methods that provide repeatable measures of robotic system mobility and remote operator proficiency. This symmetric stepfield terrain specifically challenges robotic system locomotion, suspension systems to maintain traction, rollover tendencies, self-righting in complex terrain (if necessary), chassis shape variability (if available), and remote situational awareness by the operator. As such, it can be used to represent modest outdoor terrain complexity or indoor debris within confined areas.

5.2 The overall size of the terrain apparatus can vary to provide different constraints depending on the typical obstacle spacing of the intended deployment environment. For example, the terrain with containment walls can be sized to represent repeatable complexity within bus, train, or plane aisles; dwellings with hallways and doorways; relatively open parking lots with spaces between cars; or unobstructed terrains.

5.3 The test apparatuses are low cost and easy to fabricate so they can be widely replicated. The procedure is also simple to conduct. This eases comparisons across various testing locations and dates to determine best-in-class systems and operators.

5.4 Evaluation—This test method can be used in a controlled environment to measure baseline capabilities. It can also be embedded into operational training scenarios to measure degradation due to uncontrolled variables in lighting, weather, radio communications, GPS accuracy, etc.

5.5 Procurement—This test method can be used to identify inherent capability trade-offs in systems, make informed purchasing decisions, and verify performance during acceptance testing. This aligns requirement specifications and user expectations with existing capability limits.

5.6 Training—This test method can be used to focus operator training as a repeatable practice task or as an embedded task within training scenarios. The resulting measures of remote operator proficiency enable tracking of perishable skills over time, along with comparisons of performance across squads, regions, or national averages.

5.7 Innovation—This test method can be used to inspire technical innovation, demonstrate break-through capabilities, and measure the reliability of systems performing specific tasks within an overall mission sequence. Combining or sequencing multiple test methods can guide manufacturers toward implementing the combinations of capabilities necessary to perform essential mission tasks.


1.1 This test method is intended for remotely operated ground robots operating in complex, unstructured, and often hazardous environments. It specifies the apparatuses, procedures, and performance metrics necessary to measure the capability of a robot to traverse complex terrains in the form of symmetric stepfields. This test method is one of several related mobility tests that can be used to evaluate overall system capabilities.

1.2 The robotic system includes a remote operator in control of all functionality, so an onboard camera and remote operator display are typically required. Assistive features or autonomous behaviors that improve the effectiveness or efficiency of the overall system are encouraged.

1.3 Different user communities can set their own thresholds of acceptable performance within this test method for various mission requirements.

1.4 Performing Location—This test method may be performed anywhere the specified apparatuses and environmental conditions can be implemented.

1.5 Units—The International System of Units (SI Units) and U.S. Customary Units (Imperial Units) are used throughout this document. They are not mathematical conversions. Rather, they are approximate equivalents in each system of units to enable use of readily available materials in different countries. This avoids excessive purchasing and fabrication costs. The differences between the stated dimensions in each system of units are insignificant for the purposes of comparing test method results, so each system of units is separately considered standard within this test method.

1.6 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.

1.7 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.

capability testing; emergency responder; emergency response; operator proficiency; robot evaluation; robot mobility; robot test; terrain;
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