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Symposium Chair: Christopher Reid, The Boeing Company
Symposium Cochairs: David Rempel, University of California, Berkeley/University of California, San Francisco; Kermit Davis, University of Cincinnati

Monday, October 1

7:00–8:00 a.m.

Pre-Start – Continental breakfast sponsored by Levitate Technologies

8:00–9:00 a.m.

Welcome (agenda overview)Christopher Reid, The Boeing Company

ASTM WelcomePat Picariello, ASTM

Liberty Mutual WelcomeGeorge Brogmus, Liberty Mutual Insurance

Opening Keynote: Wearable Robotic Systems: Global Landscape and Opportunities
– Bruce Floersheim, WearRAcon/GoXStudio
Overview: Wearable robotic systems are quickly changing the realm of possibility with regard to optimizing human performance and improving physical rehabilitation. Floersheim will present an overview of the ecosystem of wearable robotics, provide a picture of global development and growth, and look at possibilities and issues of concern that will impact the future of the ergonomics and human factors in the next decade.

Presentation: Standards Update: ASTM F48, ISO, etc. (Scopes, Tasks, Status, and Needs)William Billotte, NIST/ASTM

9:00–9:30 a.m.

Social/Coffee Break sponsored by ASTM

9:30–11:15 a.m.

Exoskeleton User Discussion Panel
Overview: Who are the faces and advocates behind the users of exoskeletons and exosuits? What questions and concerns should exoskeleton and exosuit developers be mindful of when designing their products for their customers? This user discussion panel session will allow us to deep dive and discuss the concerns from different experts in industrial, military, and medical domains that help advocate for the safety and performance of exoskeleton and exosuit users.

Moderator: Robert R. (Bob) Fox, General Motors

  1. Introducing Exoskeletons into the Toyota Manufacturing Environment – Robbie Schram, Toyota

  2. U.S. Navy Human Assistive Technology Ron Zmijewski, U.S. Navy

  3. Exoskeletons as Assistive Technology for Rehabilitation: Clinical PerspectivesKendra Betz, U.S. Veterans Affairs

Research Methods 1 – Design for Population Accommodation & Performance

Moderator: Krystyna Gielo-Perczak, University of Connecticut

  1. Three-Dimensional Anthropometric Data for Exoskeleton and Exosuit DesignMonica Jones, University of Michigan

  2. Anthropometric Considerations in Exoskeleton Development – Joseph Parham, U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research Development & Engineering Center (NSRDEC)

  3. Quantifying Physical and Cognitive Fit for Assessing Exoskeletons Leia Stirling, MIT

11:15 a.m.–12:00 p.m.


12:00–1:00 p.m.

Lunch (provided) sponsored by The Boeing Company

1:00–3:15 p.m.

Afternoon Keynote Address: Ergonomic Assessment of a Space Suit: From the Perspective of Population Analysis, Fit, Accommodation, Comfort, and Performance
Sudhakar Rajulu, NASA Johnson Space Center
Overview: Early ergonomic evaluation of an exoskeleton is necessary to ensure a successful, safe, and comfortable deployment into a workplace with a wide range of users. Dr. Rajulu will present a population-based approach undertaken by the Anthropometry and Biomechanics Facility at NASA to assess and improve the design of a pressurized space suit being worn by astronauts for microgravity and partial gravity environments. He will present the essential steps that are needed to evaluate prototypes of a complex ensemble such as an industrial exoskeleton for a large user population with potentially limited test subjects’ data.

Exoskeleton Developer Discussion Panel
Overview: Exo Squad, Elysium, Edge of Tomorrow, Aliens, and Iron Man. What visions of grandeur are mentally conjured when we think of what Hollywood has imagined our future to be? But how much of science fiction can become science fact? And how will we do that safely, reliably, and effectively for the people that intend to use these exoskeletons and exosuits? This developer discussion panel will allow us to tap into the visions that current manufacturers are pursuing while also allowing the audience and developers themselves, an opportunity to discuss processes, technology, or human research helps needed.

Moderator: Christopher Reid, The Boeing Company

  1. Achieving Technical and Manufacturing Readiness for the Commercialization of Powered Exoskeletons – Chris Beaufait, Sarcos Robotics

  2. Roboglove – A Human Grasp Assist Device Marty Linn, General Motors

  3. Lightweight and Non-Restrictive Soft Exosuits for Improving Human Performance and Preventing Injuries Ignacio Galiana, Harvard Wyss Institute

  4. Exoskeletons – Ideas for Implementation and Change Management – Brandon Frees, Ekso Bionics

Research Methods 2 – Assessing System Usability
Overview: It is important to understand how a person would interface and integrate both physically and cognitively with an exoskeleton and exosuit system. Ideal system usability and user experience can lead improved outcomes such as performance gains or conversely, lead to safety, discomfort, or confusion in utilization. This is an interactive audience discussion panel with researchers that have been looking into how these devices interact with people and the positive and/or negative outcomes that are starting to be seen from exoskeleton/exosuit usage.

Moderator: Carisa Harris-Adamson, University of California at San Francisco/University of California at Berkeley

  1. Exoskeleton Usability: Task Differences and Anthropomorphism – Kevin Purcell, U.S. Army Public Health Center

  2. Perspectives on Exoskeleton Usability: Insight from Boeing Factory Introduction – Kadon Kyte, The Boeing Company

  3. Assessing System Usability: Research Methods and Special Considerations for Rehabilitative Exoskeleton Evaluation Alix Dorfman, Underwriters Lab (UL), Wiklund

3:15–3:30 p.m.

Social/Coffee Break sponsored by Liberty Mutual Insurance and Northern Illinois University – College of Engineering & Engineering Technology

3:30–6:00 p.m.

Research Methods 3 – Assessing Safety
Overview: It is important to understand acute implications of wearing and using exoskeletons and exosuits. This session is an interactive audience discussion panel that examines the physical, physiological, hygienic, biomechanical, and/or usage effects with respect to safety concerns.

Moderator: Brian Lowe, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health

  1. Assuring the Safety of Medical Exoskeletons: An FDA Reviewer Perspective Ian Marcus, FDA

  2. Towards Standard Test Methods for Exoskeletons Roger Bostelman, NIST

  3. Assessing Safety of Physical Augmentation Technologies for the Dismounted Soldier – Angela Boynton, U.S. Army Research Laboratory

Research Methods 4 – Assessing Ergonomics
Overview: It is important to understand any longitudinal implications of wearing and using exoskeletons and exosuits. This task examines the physiological and biomechanical effects to estimate potential concerns that could occur over time. SMEs and audience members will have the opportunity to discuss about exoskeleton/exosuit human research looking into ergonomic areas such as musculoskeletal or physiological concerns and/or performance gains.

Moderator: Cathy White, Dow Chemical Company

  1. Perspectives on Implementing an Exoskeleton Program in Automotive Manufacturing – Marty Smets, Ford Motor Company

  2. Lab-Based Assessments of Occupational Exoskeletons: Overview of Methods and Results – Maury Nussbaum, Virginia Tech

  3. Exoskeleton Technology for Gait Rehabilitation: Combining Clinical Application and Research Methods – Karen Nolan, Kessler Foundation

Closing Discussion Panel
Overview: Conferences and symposiums typically close with the event chairs giving a summary of the activities and findings from the occasion. This time we are doing things a bit different by allowing summaries to come from the perspectives of exoskeleton and exosuit SMEs themselves…each with different application, industry, or expert perspectives. This Closing Discussion Panel will allow for audience interaction with experts from workers compensation, the United States Department of Defense, medical exoskeleton device researchers, and industry standards experts to help shape near term and far term next steps in exoskeleton and exosuit development.

Moderator: Cindy Whitehead, U.S. Navy – Naval Sea System Command

  1. DoD Views on Exoskeleton Development and Use – Ben Petro, U.S. Office of Secretary of Defense (presented by Cindy Whitehead, U.S. Navy – Naval Sea System Command)

  2. Some Thoughts on Industrial Exoskeletons from a Worker Compensation Perspective – Delia Treaster, Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation

  3. Rehabilitation Application of Wearable Exoskeletons – Gerard Francisco, TIRR Memorial Hermann Hospital

  4. Exosystems Testing, Validation, and Standardization – Donald Peterson, Northern Illinois University/ASTM 48

Adjournment Christopher Reid, The Boeing Company: Publication of conference presentations & discussion (NIOSH publication); Call for papers for Special Human Factors issue on user-centered design for exoskeleton and exosuit use; HFES talks on exos, next meetings on Exos.

6:30–9:30 p.m.

HFES Opening Gala Reception


ASTM F48 Exoskeletons and Exosuits Meeting Invitation

ASTM International is happy to support the ErgoX Symposium and invite interested stakeholders to attend the second meeting of ASTM F48 Exoskeletons and Exosuits. Come learn about how standards can help this innovative industry, network with industry experts, and impact the content of the standards in the marketplace. Schedule and registration information is found here. Membership to F48 is always open if you cannot make this meeting.

Dates: Wednesday, October 3–Thursday, October 4, 2018
Location: Hampton Inn Philadelphia Center City – Convention Center; Philadelphia, PA