> our title:

Germany Opens Test Area for Robots

> original title:

Robot Test Arena of WTD 51 Opened In Koblenz

(Source: German defense procurement agency, BWB; issued May 14, 2012)

A test arena for the standardized examination of mobile robots was opened on 3 April 2012 at the Bundeswehr Technical Center for Engineer and General Field Equipment (WTD 51) in Koblenz.

The standardized test elements allow the individual properties of the mobile systems to be recorded in a reproducible way. For example, the climbing capability, the obstacle crossing ability, the maximum period of use and many other parameters are recorded separately. As the tests are always conducted under the same conditions, the data can be compared right away even if different robots are tested at different locations.

The collection of standardized test methods is available in the USA, in Japan and now in Germany as well. The elements were developed over the past few years by Adam Jacoff of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in the USA and have already been successfully used several times in procurement processes of the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the US Army. Requirements for the robots to be procured were determined by means of a selection of test methods which then had to be completed with certain parameters.

Jacoff introduced the methodology in a presentation and gave an overview of the measurement results of the robots already tested. In addition, he gave an impression of the way ahead regarding the test methods currently under development. Here, the focus is on the area of mobile manipulation and directed perception, for example in order to inspect the interior of a truck cabin using a robot.

As of now, the test arena is available in Koblenz for the evaluation of robots. In addition, it can be used for the systematic training of robot operators.