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ASTM International Committee F45 on Driverless Automatic Industrial Vehicles

To solicit F45 member input for the development of consensus standards within ASTM International Committee F45 on Driverless Automatic Industrial Vehicles, and to educate the committee on test method developments currently ongoing.

Mobile (rolling) robots have been around since about 1945 with the first automated guided vehicle in industrial use in the 1950's. Since then, advances in the industry and safety standards have been developed with no standardization for the performance of these machines. Mobile robots have been a part of the research community in most technical universities who have made tremendous strides in applying computer control to mobile platforms for use in many industries, including manufacturing, healthcare, and others. These implementations have helped drive the industry and safety standards such as ANSI/ITSDF B56.5 in the US and BS/EN1525 in Europe among others. As vehicles have become more capable with onboard sensing, large facilities have adapted to these machines to move materials in lights out conditions. However, adapting the vehicles to facilities has only minimally occurred, for example floor cleaning in open areas and delivering medications to nursing stations and patients in hospitals. For manufacturing in small to medium sized facilities, AGVs in their current form have not adapted well and therefore, may not be used.

A compilation of mobile robot challenge events, relative standards (such as search and rescue robots), and other research sparked a new standards thrust in performance of driverless vehicles applied to industrial use. As such, the new ASTM Committee F45 on "Driverless Automatic Guided Industrial Vehicles" was formed in 2014 and now includes mobile robot and AGV users, manufacturers, and research members from the USA, Europe, and Asia, currently from over 50 organizations. The new technical committee is scoped to include standardized nomenclature and definitions of terms, recommended practices, guides, test methods, specifications, and performance standards for automated guided vehicles towards advancing AGV capabilities for the manufacturing industry and others. The committee will address all of the areas that are important for potential AGV users to understand when making purchase and task application decisions. These areas, therefore, divided into five technical subcommittees:

F45-01 Environmental Effects
F45-02 Docking & Navigation
F45-03 Object Detection & Protection
F45-04 Communication & Integration
F45-91 Terminology

Real world situations have driven these categories and have uncovered generic performance test methods for simple comparison of vehicle performance that is expected to "set the performance bar" and improve the AGV industry as a whole. For example, improvements in tolerance (accuracy and repeatability), sensor integration, controls, and interoperability are just a few areas that may improve when performance is measured and analyzed through standard test methods. Committee F45 will provide information and guidance for AGV manufacturers and users through standard test methods that may also support the safety standards. For example, documenting how well the safety system measures an obstacle to be avoided, not just simply stop at the obstacle and wait, potentially causing slower production.

Three working documents are now being developed for Docking, Navigation and Terminology. A recent workshop was held at ICRA 2015 in Seattle called: "Autonomous Industrial Vehicles: From the Laboratory to the Factory Floor." The list of workshop presentations can be viewed and downloaded at: An ASTM book will soon detail extended workshop presentations and discussions. A full ASTM Committee F45 will be held August 17, 18 at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, Maryland, USA where all sub-committees, except Terminology, will meet and discuss each technical area's direction. The meeting will also include demonstrations of an AGV and a mobile robot executing draft test methods and an F45 relevant presentation.

Wednesday, August 17
AML Building, Conference Room C106

8:00am15Bus pickup from Hilton 
8:15am20Greetings, Agenda, Introductions
8:35am10NIST/Engineering Laboratory Director Greeting
8:45am30F45 Main Committee Status, ASTM Info-Roster Main.
Bostelman, Lively, Emanuel
9:15am10Coffee Break
9:25am150F45-91 TerminologyBostelman
11:55am60Lunch - NIST Cafeteria
120Test Method Demo's; Bus from Building 101 to Building 202
Bostelman, Norton
2:55pm15Coffee Break 
3:10pm120F45-02 Docking & Navigation
5:10pm20Day 1 wrap-up and next day agenda
5:30pm Adjourn
  Bus return to Hilton
6:30pm Dinner - TBD

Test Method Demonstrations
12:55pm15Bus from Bldg. 101 to Bldg 202, Room 138
  Docking onboard equipment, with Comm. interupts
  Navigation: Defined Spaces
  Obstacle avoidanceNorton
2:40pm15Bus from Bldg. 202 to AML Bldg. 215, Conf. Room C106
2:55pm Back for coffee break

August 18

AML Building, Conference Room C106

8:00am15Bus pickup from Hilton 
8:15am120F45-03 Object Detection & Protection
10:15am10Coffee Break
10:25am30Presentation: Sharp Security Robot
10:55am90F45-01 Environmental Effects
12:25am60Lunch - NIST Cafeteria
60F45-04 Communication & Integration
2:25pm10Coffee Break 
2:3560F45-04 Communication & Integration
3:35pm60Final Wrap up discussion - Subcommittee Reports, Future works
All Chairmen
 4:35pm Adjourn 
  Bus return to Hilton 

A block of rooms has been setup at:

Hilton Washington DC North/Gaithersburg
620 Perry Parkway
Gaithersburg, Maryland 20877

Includes Hotel Shuttle to and from NIST and a continental breakfast.
Created May 16, 2016, Updated August 4, 2016