System-Level Testing and Evaluation Plan for Field Robots: A Tutorial with Test Course Layouts

William R. Norris, Albert E. Patterson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Field robotics is a very important sub-field of robotic systems, focusing on systems which need to navigate in open, unpredictable terrain and perform non-repetitive missions while monitoring and reacting to their surroundings. General testing and validation standards for larger robotic systems, including field robots, have not been developed yet due to a variety of factors including disagreement over terminology and functional/performance requirements. This tutorial presents a generalized, step-by-step system-level test plan for field robots under manual, semi-autonomous/tele-operated, and autonomous control schemes; this includes a discussion of the requirements and testing parameters, and a set of suggested safety, communications, and behavior evaluation test courses. The testing plan presented here is relevant to both commercial and academic research into field robotics, providing a standardized general testing procedure.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number83
Pages (from-to)1-33
Number of pages33
Issue number4
StatePublished - Sep 22 2019


  • Field robotics
  • Robotic systems design
  • Testing and evaluation
  • Testing plan

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Control and Optimization
  • Artificial Intelligence


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