The New England Robotics Validation and Experimentation (NERVE) Center
at the University of Massachusetts Lowell is a dedicated testing facility. The mission of the NERVE Center is to improve the development of robotic systems by both academic researchers and corporations by facilitating evaluation throughout the design cycle.
The NERVE Center houses replicas of the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s (NIST) Standard Test Methods for Robots as well as water test areas designed in collaboration with the Army. The indoor arenas will allow for year-round testing of robot systems with water, sand and other features difficult to maintain outdoors in New England. Nine thousand square feet is dedicated to test courses and apparatuses. Each course is outfitted with a video recording system to capture robot testing sessions throughout the entire facility. NERVE Center employees are available to aid with testing.
The center is conducting research to continue the development of standard methods for evaluating robots. For example, there are few validation methods that have been developed for fully autonomous robot systems, an area with a great deal of current research and development. Feedback on new metrics is solicited from NERVE Center members.
NERVE Center Brochure