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ASTM International’s F45 Committee on Robotics, Automation and Autonomous Systems recently approved the creation of a new subcommittee for legged robots.
The F45.06 Subcommittee on Legged Robot Systems will focus on developing standards for these types of robots for any applications, whether they’re industrial or service related. F45 member Bowen Weng, a Technical Specialist at the Transporation Research Center in East Liberty, Ohio and a PhD candidate at Ohio State University, will chair the subcommittee.
ASTM’s new subcommittee aims to develop standards and testing procedures to effectively evaluate the performance of legged robots, whether they be bipedal or quadrupedal. The subcommittee is seeking experts in the field, including those who are directly working on these types of robots and experts who aren’t, with the goal to have as many voices contributing to the work as possible.
“Legged robotics show a lot of promise,” Aaron Prather, the Director of Robotics & Autonomous Systems Programs at ASTM, said. “For a world built for humans and our type of locomotion, legged robots have numerous use cases and applications available to them going forward. However, with the lack of test standards that can show performance levels of any type it is going to be a challenge to convince the public and potential regulatory agencies that these robots can operate around humans, especially in public settings.”
Legged robots are becoming more and more common. Earlier this week, Sanctuary AI unveiled its general-purpose bipedal robot, joining companies like Agility Robotics, Tesla, Apptronik, PAL Robotics, Xiaomi, UBTECH, Figure AI, and Boston Dynamics which are also working on some form of a humanoid robot.
“By building out a family of test standards for legged robots, both manufacturers and users of these types of robots will be able to show to the public and others that their robot was tested to a known industry-accepted standard,” Prather said. “This will give the public more confidence when they see these robots at their workplaces or operating in the public sphere. These standards will only help accelerate deployments because they address the current unknown – public acceptance.”
The first step for the subcommittee will be to focus on the first test work item they want to develop into a test standard. Right now, stability testing appears to be the biggest focus area raised by members.