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A Peg-in-Hole Test and Analysis Method for Exoskeleton Evaluation



Ann Virts, Roger V. Bostelman, Soocheol Yoon, Ya-Shian Li-Baboud, Mili Shah


Work-place MusculoSkeletal Disorders (WMSD) continue to be the most significant source of industrial work force injuries. Exoskeletons are emerging as personal protective equipment (PPE) for sustained, repetitive, or intensive industrial tasks. This technical note describes and evaluates a proposed test method comprised of a novel testing apparatus, Position and Load Test Apparatus for Exoskeletons (PoLoTAE) designed and developed at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), to simulate a wide variety of industrial tasks. The test method used commercially available, low-cost, readily adaptable sensors, building materials, and an initial set of qualitative and analytical methods to evaluate perceived user comfort, exoskeleton fit for task, and impact of exoskeleton on task productivity. The study includes analysis of simple subjective and quantitative measurement methods to obtain perceived comfort, effort, exoskeleton support, fit, task rate, and task completion times. Lastly, we include the limitations of this study and suggested improvements towards the development of test methods for the use of exoskeletons for industrial tasks towards providing more information for validation of models to understand the human-exoskeleton kinetic and kinematic interactions.
Technical Note (NIST TN) - 2208
Report Number


Exoskeleton test methods, standards, pose estimation


Virts, A. , Bostelman, R. , Yoon, S. , Li-Baboud, Y. and Shah, M. (2022), A Peg-in-Hole Test and Analysis Method for Exoskeleton Evaluation, Technical Note (NIST TN), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online],, (Accessed February 21, 2024)
Created March 7, 2022, Updated November 29, 2022