Wearable Robotics Standard

Wearable Robotics (Thomas Sugar et al., Arizona SU)

The standing committee met most recently at the WearRAcon 16 meeting in Phoenix on Feb 10-12, 2016. Five workshops were held on ISO, IEC and IEEE Standards for Wearable Robotics, Test methods for Wearable Robotics, Challenges in Interoperability of Wearable Robotics, Cybersecurity of Wearable Robotics, and Ergonomic Issues for Wearable Robotics. It was agreed to focus on wearable robots for manufacturing and industry and not focus on medical related devices. There are no standards currently for military exoskeletons, exoskeletons for construction, and industrial exoskeletons. A truly open area is to develop standards for cybersecurity

Dr. Tom Sugar is hosting some webinars on Test Methods to determine the interest and focus. Currently, the group has talked about focusing on three industrial tasks: working on something with arms raised above your head, holding a heavy object at shoulder height, and lifting and palletizing objects.


1) Focus on wearable robots for manufacturing.  Initial buyers seemed to fall into two groups, medical related and manufacturing related.  Our goal is to focus on manufacturing related exoskeletons.  Devices that help people move or walk faster.  These systems will be semi-autonomous with a human driver in-the-loop.

2) Develop standards for military exoskeletons, construction exoskeletons and industrial exoskeletons.  There are no standards being developed currently for these types of exoskeletons (Fig. 1.)

3)  Develop standards for cybersecurity for wearable systems.  Open area

Gaps in Current Safety Standardization

Figure: ISO standards are detailed for the different categories.  There are no standards for wearable robots used in construction and industry.  Also, military-style, physical assistant robots are not covered under ISO 13482. (Figure courtesy of ISO at the WearRAcon 16 conference)

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