Exoskeletons are now being marketed by several manufacturers and yet there are currently no standard test methods to compare exoskeletons to task. 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 method developments in support of exoskeleton standards. This paper describes the NIST exoskeleton project efforts for one of several ongoing research areas that targets 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 internal review board study. Experimental results from the first load handling test are described and future tests are outlined.
March 26-28, 2019
exoskeleton, test method, load handling, ASTM F48, PoLoTAE