Robotic Search−and−Rescue: An Integrated Approach
Julian de Hoog‚ Stephen Cameron and Arnoud Visser
Recent advances in robotics and computer science mean that it is now possible to use teams of robots for many real-world applications. One very important application is robotic search-and-rescue. Robots are highly suitable for search-and-rescue tasks since they may be deployed in dangerous and toxic environments without putting human responders at risk. Initial uses of rescue robots, such as during rescue efforts following the 2001 collapse of the World Trade Centre in New York, have highlighted the fact that many improvements are still required if robots are to provide extensive assistance in search-and-rescue scenarios. While much effort is going into development of more robust and mobile robot platforms, it is also necessary to develop advanced methods for multi-robot coordination and practical user interfaces for humans to control the robots. Here we describe an approach being developed jointly by Amsterdam’s Intelligent Systems Laboratory and the Oxford University Computing Laboratory that integrates advanced techniques from a variety of fields such as mapping, localization, exploration, communication, navigation and human-robot interface design. All research reported here is performed using the USARSim simulator.