A CEN Workshop Agreement (CWA) on lower-limb wearable devices was developed under the leadership of the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) and the German Institute for Standardization (DIN) as a joint initiative by the INBOTS and EUROBENCH project. A CEN Workshop Agreement is developed when a technology has not yet reached the development status to be described in a European Standard (EN). In total, 17 organizations from 10 different countries worked on the creation of CWA 17664 “Lower-limb wearable devices – Performance test method for walking on uneven terrain” over a period of 10 months.
CWA 17664:2021 defines performance indicators for wearable devices of the lower extremities while moving on uneven terrain. The document describes a test bed with various uneven terrains, performance indicators, a method for recording the performance indicators, and information on how to set up a test report. CWA 17664:2021 is intended for developers and manufacturers of all types of orthotics, exoskeletons and prostheses of the lower extremities, regardless of the structural properties (hard or soft), the type of actuation (driven or non-driven), the body covering (torso, spine, hip, knee, ankle, leg) and the scope of the devices (manufacturing industry, healthcare, consumer goods industry). However, the CWA does not apply to non-bipedal systems, e.g. wheeled robots, four-legged robots and hexapods.
The methodology defined in the CWA is also not suitable for comparing the performance of orthopedic devices for the lower extremities in activities of daily living, although elements of the test bed are similar to the everyday obstacles. For example, performing activities in daily living that are similar to the test described is associated with sudden distraction such as duplication of tasks, decreased concentration, and fatigue. In contrast, the test bed offers repeatable restrictions.
The document can be downloaded on the website of the European Committee for standardization (CEN).