New ASTM standard F3588-22 defines objects encountered by AMRs and AGVs

Mobile robots. Credit: Licensed from AdobeStock

A new standard released by the ASTM defines the types of objects that might be encountered during the operation of an Autonomous Mobile Robot (AMR) or Automatic Guided Vehicle (AGV).

The new standard documents a list of common terms that describe these objects, and provides a common language for the use of both operators and manufacturers of this equipment. The standard was developed by ASTM’s committee on robotics, automation, and autonomous systems (F45).

This standard (F3588) provides specifications for a set of reference objects to act as obstacles or infrastructure for testing the capabilities of A-UGVs. The objects represent those common in many manufacturing environments. According to ASTM International F45 committee chair Adam Norton, this helps both developers of A-UGVs and those looking to use them with evaluating their systems.

The committee surveyed both end users and manufacturers to assemble the list of items that might be encountered by an autonomous, unmanned robot.

The survey results are listed here and are considered example objects found in warehousing/manufacturing, healthcare, domestic, and retail environments:

4.1.1 Pallets, racking, wheeled carts;

4.1.2 Other A-UGVs or AMRs;

4.1.3 Steps or stairs;

4.1.4 Tables or desks, ladders;

4.1.5 Cables or hoses, or both;

4.1.6 Chairs, overhangs (that is, on objects);

4.1.7 IV poles; and

4.1.8 Forklifts/forklift tines.

“For example, one object is a pallet that an A-UGV may need to avoid while navigating through a facility; another object is a rack that an A-UGV may need to position itself in front of in order to dock with it,” says Norton.

The standard, designated ASTM F3588-22, was released on November 9, 2022, and you can purchase a copy here.

The group is next going to develop standards concerned with dynamic obstacles, including those that move and change position.

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Written by

Mike Oitzman

Mike Oitzman is Senior Editor of WTWH's Robotics Group, cohost of The Robot Report Podcast, and founder of the Mobile Robot Guide. Oitzman is a robotics industry veteran with 25-plus years of experience at various high-tech companies in the roles of marketing, sales and product management. He can be reached at