Standardized Field Testing of Assistant Robots in a Mars-Like Environment

  • Graham Mann
  • Nicolas Small
  • Kevin Lee
  • Jonathan Clarke
  • Raymond Sheh
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 9287)


Controlled testing on standard tasks and within standard environments can provide meaningful performance comparisons between robots of heterogeneous design. But because they must perform practical tasks in unstructured, and therefore non-standard, environments, the benefits of this approach have barely begun to accrue for field robots. This work describes a desert trial of six student prototypes of astronaut-support robots using a set of standardized engineering tests developed by the US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), along with three operational tests in natural Mars-like terrain. The results suggest that standards developed for emergency response robots are also applicable to the astronaut support domain, yielding useful insights into the differences in capabilities between robots and real design improvements. The exercise shows the value of combining repeatable engineering tests with task-specific application-testing in the field.


Test methods Field testing Astronaut assistant robots 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Graham Mann
    • 1
  • Nicolas Small
    • 1
  • Kevin Lee
    • 2
  • Jonathan Clarke
    • 3
  • Raymond Sheh
    • 4
  1. 1.Murdoch UniversityMurdochAustralia
  2. 2.Nottingham Trent UniversityNottinghamUK
  3. 3.Mars Society AustraliaClifton HillAustralia
  4. 4.Curtin UniversityBentleyAustralia

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