Rescue Robots

Teleoperation-assistant-system for all-terrain mobile manipulator in narrow environment (Jan., 2017)

All-terrain mobile manipulators are expected to work in disaster areas from the point of view of rescue worker’s safety. In order to enable teleoperation of mobile manipulators in such area, easy operation and collision avoidance should be considered, particularly in narrow and rough environments. In this research, we installed a collision-avoidance-system with a 3D-map created by LIDARs on our all-terrain mobile manipulators, called Quince, and performed evaluation trials of the system.


Collaborative Mapping of an Earthquake-Damaged Building (Aug, 2012)

In this videoclip, we report recent results from field experiments conducted with a team of ground and aerial robots toward the collaborative mapping of an earthquake-damaged building. The experiments take place in the top three floors of a structurally compromised engineering building at Tohoku University in Sendai, Japan that was damaged during the 2011 Higashi-Nihon earthquake. We provide the approach to the collaborative mapping and report results from the experiments in the form of maps generated by the individual robots and as a team.


3D Thermography Mapping for mobile robot (July., 2012)

In urban search and rescue situations, a 3D map obtained using a 3D range sensor mounted on a rescue robot is very useful in determining a rescue crew's strategy. Furthermore, thermal images captured by an infrared camera enable rescue workers to effectively locate victims. The objective of this study is to develop a 3D thermography mapping system using a 3D map and thermal images; this system is to be mounted on a tele-operated (or autonomous) mobile rescue robot. To realize the proposed system, we developed a 3D laser scanner comprising a 2D laser scanner, DC motor, and rotary electrical connector. We used a conventional infrared camera to capture thermal images. To develop a 3D thermography map, we integrated the thermal images and the 3D range data using a geometric method. The videoclip is the slideshow presented in FSR2012.


Autonomous folded sub-tracks control (Oct., 2010)

We have developed an autonomous controller of the tracked vehicle (Kenaf) for generating terrain-reflective motions of sub-tracks. Terrain information is obtained using laser range sensors that are located at both sides of the Quince. In case of robot's turning motion, the sub-tracks are folded not to be got stuck. The videoclip shows that the robot turns with terrain reflective motion of the folded sub-tracks on bumpy surface. (Oct. 2010)


Master-slave type Mobile Manipulation (July, 2010)

In disaster environments, multi-D.O.F. manipulator mounted on a tracked vehicle is useful. Therefore, in this research, we developed a light weight master-slave manipulator that mounts on our tracked vehicle, Quince. The video clip introduces a function of the master-slave system, and an application example of the manipulator in RoboCupRescue 2010.


Autonomous sub-tracks control (Oct., 2009)

We have developed an autonomous controller of the tracked vehicle (Kenaf) for generating terrain-reflective motions of sub-tracks. Terrain information is obtained using laser range sensors that are located at both sides of the Quince. The videoclip shows a basic function of the controller in a simple environment.


3D Map Building in an Outdoor Environment (July., 2009)

During search missions in disaster environments, an important task for mobile robots is map building. 3D mapping can provide depictions of disaster environments that will support robotic teleoperations used in locating victims and aid rescue crews in strategizing. However, the 3-D scanning of an environment is time-consuming because a 3-D scanning procedure itself takes a time and scan data must be matched at several locations. In this research, we propose a scan-point planning algorithm to obtain a large scale 3D map based on 3-D laser range scanner, and apply a scan-matching method to improve the accuracy of the map. The scan-matching method is based on a combination of the Iterative Closest Point (ICP) algorithm and the Normal Distribution Transform (NDT) algorithm. We performed several experiments to verify the validity of our approach. In this videoclip, 3D map of our university building obtained by our 3D laser range scanner is demonstrated.


Parent-Children Robots for Disaster Mitigation (Oct., 2006)

In this project, multiple robots are coordinately operated through ad-hoc wireless communication netowrk, including satellite-based IP communication link, for surveillance tasks at a disaster site. The robot system consists of a large-scale outdoor robot to serve as a carrier of small robots and a fleet of small robots to be deployed at a specific spot such as an inside of a building complex. In this videoclip, coordination of three robots (grande, Reddy, Bluey) was demonstrated to survey the third floor of the target building.


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