Skip to Main Content
Urban search and rescue (USAR) is the rescue of people trapped by disasters involving the collapse of man-made structures. Introducing robots to USAR has the potential to increase the speed and effectiveness of rescue operations considerably and make them safer for rescuers. Robots have been used in recent rescue operations, including the WTC terrorist attack, leading to the identification of several problems in robot-assisted search and rescue. This paper proposes a solution to one such problem that has been encountered repeatedly in the use of robots for USAR: the determination of the scale of unrecognizable objects in the camera views from the robot. We describe a procedure that would allow the extraction of size and orientation information using a laser pointer and camera mounted on a robot, and experiments that verify the effectiveness of this procedure have been shown.