Response Robot Exercise in Hamilton in collaboration with the National Institute of Standards and Technology | NIST

On June 12-14th, NCART and the National Institute of Standards and Technology organized and participated in a Standards Committee Meeting and Response Robot Exercise in Hamilton which is the first of its kind in Canada. In this response robot evaluation exercise – we have demonstrated and evaluated various air and ground robot technologies in collaboration with various southern Ontario police organizations, the ASTM International standards body and the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology. Dr. Alexander Ferworn has been heavily involved in planning this event.

This exercise has also be in support of the testing of three ground robots that will be sent to Egypt (in early July). These robots are part of a collaboration between FoS and FoA with support from both YSGS and the Chang School. The props available at this event are the only near-realistic facilities that we have available for this purpose.

The meeting and associated response robot exercise is hosted by the ASTM International Standards Committee on Homeland Security Applications; Response Robots (E54.09). Invited guests were the Halton police, Peel police, Toronto police, Hamilton police, York police, Durham police, Ottawa police, Ontario Provincial Police, Niagara police, London police, Windsor police, Waterloo police, and Canadian Forces Combat Engineers. Organizations have each brought trained personnel, researchers, and their response robots and validated test methods for remotely operated and autonomous ground, aerial, and aquatic systems. The resulting standard test methods can be used by anybody to measure and compare system capabilities and operator proficiency.

Key discussion topics included:

 *  Fifty test methods including apparatuses, procedures, and performance metrics
 *  Collaborating test facilities worldwide that host the standards
 *  Test method balloting status and priorities going forward
 *  Response Robots Capabilities Compendium allowing filtering of test results to
    address mission requirements
 *  Training within the test methods as standard measures of operator proficiency

The associated test method validation exercise involved most of the test methods under development. International test administrators from collaborating facilities help set up and administer the test methods.  We validated and refine the test methods with regional emergency responders and manufacturers using their own systems to practice the tests. Manufacturers measured baseline system capabilities. Regional responders focused their training and measure their proficiency in head-to-head trials. They used their own robots to perform a sequence of standard tasks used during four other regional Robot Rodeos with more than one hundred bomb technicians throughout the U.S. in 2016-2017.  These processes and methods enables direct comparison of their proficiency to regional and national averages.

The test methods included:
 *  15 ground system test methods focusing on Maneuvering, Mobility, Dexterity, Tool Deployment, Sensing, Endurance, and Radio Comms necessary to conduct missions     involving improvised explosive devices, urban search and rescue, accessing and     mapping buildings, and others.  

*  15 small unmanned aircraft system (sUAS) test methods for  Maneuvering, Situational Awareness, Sensing, Endurance, and Mapping necessary to conduct missions involving     search and rescue, infrastructure inspection, accident reconstruction, and others.  

*  15 Aquatic system test methods focusing on maneuvering, dexterity, tool deployment, and other capabilities necessary to conduct missions involving underwater improvised explosive devices.

Location: Hamilton Port Authority, Harbor West Marina, 210 Hillyard Street, Hamilton, Ontario L8L 6B6

The Hamilton Port Authority has kindly granted access to 150 x 270 ft boat hangar to contain our ground tests, netted aviary, and a 21,000 gallon water tank.


Andy Olesen from Halton Region Police has been the point person of this exercise.

Brief exercise footage:

Media Coverage:

Facebook video (most shareable, viewable in Canada only):

Twitter (viewable globally): (viewable in Canada only):

Most shareable, viewable globally only (in a timeline it’s a square video, but here it appears with bars on the side):


Twitter viewable globally:

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