ASTM International Creates Subcommittee on Robotic Grasping and Manipulation

ASTM's new F45.05 subcommittee will develop standards for several areas of robotic manipulation.

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ASTM International's new subcommittee will look at standards for robotic grasping and manipulation.

Humanlike dexterity is still a challenge for robotics developers, but standards are emerging that could help both suppliers and users. ASTM International today announced that its F45 committee on robotics, automation, and autonomous systems has formed a new subcommittee on grasping and manipulation.

The new subcommittee, F45.05, will develop standards that evaluate performance in several major areas of robotic manipulation.

The first three task groups of the committee will develop standards for performance of grasping-type end effectors, mobile manipulators, and robotic assembly systems, covering their use in both fixed and mobile base systems.

Standards to help speed deployments

The new standards will help speed up deployments and cut wasteful spending on selecting the wrong tools, said Aaron Prather, the new director of robotics and autonomous systems programs at ASTM International. He noted that the subcommittee supports UN Sustainable Development Goal No. 9 on industries, innovation, and infrastructure.

“As robotics and automation continue to expand into new and diverse industries, performance standards that help end users better select their end effectors and/or manipulators to the task they are working on will be key,” he said. “Seeing the number of experts from across the world joining this work shows just how much this group is needed.”

The subcommittee will be initially headed by two co-chairs, Joe Falco and Omar Aboul-Enein, both from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Experts from countries around the world, including Germany, New Zealand, Canada, and the U.S. are participating in the committee. ASTM International said more are welcome.

ASTM subcommittee shares roadmap

Out of six proposed standards currently planned for development, the subcommittee plans to register two by the end of 2022, on grasp strength and finger repeatability.

ASTM plans to hold monthly calls for the task groups through 2023, and the subcommittee will meet at ASTM International’s standards development meetings on Oct. 19 and 20.

Formerly known as the American Society for Testing and Materials, ASTM International said it is committed to serving global societal needs. The West Conshohocken, Pa.-based organization develops consensus standards with its international membership of volunteer technical experts for public health and safety, consumer confidence, and services to improve quality of life.

ASTM said it welcomes new members to participate in the development of its standards.


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ASTM International's new subcommittee will look at standards for robotic grasping and manipulation.


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