Towards Standard Exoskeleton Test Methods for Load Handling
Abstract— Exoskeletons are now being marketed by several manufacturers and yet there are currently no standard test methods to help match exoskeletons1 to desired tasks. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has been a key contributor to the formation of a new ASTM F48 standards committee on exoskeletons and has a project to research measurement science and test methods in support of exoskeleton standards. This paper describes the NIST exoskeleton project efforts for one of several ongoing research areas that target typical industrial tasks - i.e., load handling. The paper will describe the design of the NIST Position and Load Test Apparatus for Exoskeletons (PoLoTAE), a reconfigurable testbed and its use within a NIST human subject’s study. Experimental results from the first load handling test are described and future tests are outlined.