Proposed standard to improve exoskeleton design technology

September 30, 2020

According to ASTM International workgroup leader Bochen Jia, ideal exoskeleton/exosuit development could use digital human modeling tools in addition to human testing to ensure the system design is consistently considering the internal influence of forces, torques, and pressure on, through, and around the body of the user.

The proposed standard (WK65347) will be used to help users and manufacturers identify and use appropriate models for the following purposes:

Evaluating the performance of existing exoskeleton designs, or existing human-exoskeleton collaborative tasks/work environments, and,

Designing new exoskeleton or new human-exoskeleton collaborative tasks without building a prototype each time or conducting unsafe tests with the preliminary prototypes.

“The proposed standard includes detailed information regarding existing modeling methods, modeling software, modeling inputs/outputs, application classifications, and modeling procedures,” says Jia, an associate professor at the University of Michigan Dearborn. “Using digital models could save substantial amounts of resources and expenses that have been used for building and modifying real-world prototypes and avoid the risk of using rough prototypes for experiments at early design stages .”

This effort directly relates to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal #9 on industry, innovation, and infrastructure.

A proposed ASTM International standard will help accelerate the pace of safe and ergonomic designs of exoskeleton/exosuit technology. ASTM’s committee on exoskeletons and exosuits (F48) is developing the proposed standard, which also seeks to reduce the cost of physical exo device manufacturing.

ASTM’s committee on exoskeletons and exosuits is developing the proposed standard, which also seeks to reduce the cost of physical exo device manufacturing.