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Ann Virts (Fed)

Project Leader

Ann is the project leader of the Mobility Performance of Robotic Systems.  She leads the project by developing test methods, artifacts, and datasets that measure the performance and safety characteristics of mobile and wearable robots within manufacturing/industrial environments.  

Ann is also the Associate project leader for the Emergency Response Robots project in the Fire Risk Reduction in Communities program. She develops and implements robot test methods, interfaces with emergency responders and robot technology developers, and meets complex technical and logistical demands of demanding response robot field exercises. In addition to her emergency response robotics work.

Ann’s past contributions include leading data collection efforts and participating in field exercises for several DARPA and Army Research Laboratory projects.

Ann has been recognized with numerous awards during her tenure at NIST including:

  •  DOC Gold Medal for contributions innovations in developing and disseminating more than 30 performance tests to quantitatively measure and compare ground robot capabilities for extremely hazardous missions, 2019
  • Ron Brown Excellence in Innovation Award recognizes unusually significant accomplishments that resulted in the implementation of innovative and creative solutions to Commerce Department problems and challenges, 2019
  • NIST Bronze Medal for contributions to ASTM F45 performance standards that enable manufacturers to optimize their use of industrial unmanned vehicles, 2018
  • The Edward Bennett Rosa Award. For outstanding contributions to the development of ASTM international standard test methods and prototype tests to advance emergency response robots, 2014
  • DOC Silver Medal - For developing techniques to measure and assess the performance of automated Middle Eastern speech translation systems leading to U.S. military use, 2011
  •  NIST Bronze Medal - For advancement of measurement science for evaluating the performance of autonomous vehicles in realistic, complex and dynamic environments, 2011
  •  NIST Bronze Medal – For development and implementation of the SCORE framework, 2008
  •  NIST Colleagues Choice Award - For dedicated contributions that supported NIST's mission, promoted effective external interactions and enhanced division vitality, 2007
  •  Jacob Rabinow Applied Research Award - For technical achievement in applying robotic crane research to improve the productivity and safety of large aircraft maintenance operations, 2006


FEMA Certifications/Studies:
IS-00700.a An Introduction National Incident Management System (NIMS)
IS-00800.b An Introduction National Response Framework
IS-00022 Are You Ready? An In-depth Guide to Citizen Preparedness
IS-00100.a Introduction to the Incident Command System, ICS-100
IS-00200.a ICS for Single Resources and Initial Action Incidents, ICS-200
IS-00130 Exercise Evaluation and Improvement Planning
IS-00139 Exercise Design
IS-00120.a An Introduction to Exercises
IS-00200.a ICS for Single Resources and Initial Action Incidents, ICS-200



Towards Standard Exoskeleton Test Methods for Load Handling

Roger V. Bostelman, YaShian Li-Baboud, Ann M. Virts, Soocheol Yoon, Mili Shah
Exoskeletons are now being marketed by several manufacturers and yet there are currently no standard test methods to compare exoskeletons to task. The National

Emergency Response Robot Evaluation Exercise

Adam S. Jacoff, Hui-Min Huang, Ann M. Virts, Anthony J. Downs, Raymond K. Sheh
More than 60 robot test methods are being developed by a team lead by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) with the sponsorship of U.S
Created April 9, 2019, Updated June 28, 2021