ASTM international hosted a meeting where it brought employees from multiple organizations to help standardize various operations, materials, procedures, apparatuses, etc. NIST is a large part of this meeting, more specifically the Standardizing of test methods for response robots. This conference was held in New Orleans, LA for a three-day period in the Sheraton Hotel. Over the course of the three days there were specific times and rooms allotted for the “Robotics Group” to present and evaluate their test methods. The “Robotics Group” (E54.08.01) consisted of employees from multiple companies around the world.
Robolit LLC worked along side NIST, The Nerve Center, SWRI, and JAEA to help discuss and present issues with some of the current test methods for response robots. Robolit provided detailed design sketches of the current test methods as well as being able change and create and new design ideas proposed along the way. Test changes included simplifying the evaluation forms of the manipulation, mobility, and maneuvering tests to accommodate multiple tests on one form as well as to clarify the parameters for “testing faults” and when to determine “success and/or statistical significance”. Also, the physical design of many tests was changed to help create a more fair testing process for varying robot weight, size and configuration.
The Bomb Squad Commanders Meeting brought together various bomb squads, robot developers, and the NIST team to collaborate in expanding each other’s reach. This event was held from the 25th to the 29th of August. The purpose was to show bomb squads the importance of needing the “Standard Robot Test Methods” to score/train themselves to be better bomb technicians as well as introduce them to the various robots they may want to use during real world scenarios.
Robolit was tasked with the design and layout of the test methods to be shown as well as assisting in the fabrication and set-up of the event. Robolit was also asked to capture and record various robot tests through video and through data collection.
The event proved to be very successful in that a large percentage of bomb squads were responding with the desire to implement NIST’s robot test methods in their facilities. The overall goal was to create more applicable robots to real disasters by collecting the feedback of the bomb squads and adjusting the test methods to fit the issues they are running into most often in real scenarios.
The biannual ASTM E54.08 Homeland Security, Operational Equipment, Robotics meeting was held at the NIST campus in Gaithersburg from May 28-30, 2014. The event brought together a rich collection of individuals from first responder community, robot vendors and standards administrators.
Robolit made two presentations at the event. Our team introduced a new robot design representation procedure to be adopted by the cache packaging standard. Robolit is tasked with the development of an extensible relational database and access interface for the standard test data. We demonstrated the very initial prototype on an online access interface and a database engine implementation.
Our team has attended AFTEK 2013 Workshop on Technologies for Natural Disaster Response. First of a series of meetings organized by AFAD, the Turkish equivalent of FEMA, this event brings policy makers, academic researchers and industry representatives together to establish short term and long term goals to help Turkish response agencies better prepared for natural disasters. At this event we presented our work with NIST on standard test methods and the robot test facility established in Alanya, Turkey.