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Treaded control system for rescue robots in indoor environment

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8 Author(s)
Mano, H. ; Dept. of Mech. Eng. & Intell. Syst., Univ. of Electro-Commun., Chofu ; Kon, K. ; Sato, N. ; Ito, M.
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We developed a rescue robot system, which allows efficient utilization of the potentials of a robot, by effectively switching between tele-operation mode and autonomous mode based on the task and the operation environment. Rescue robots are mobile sytems which can perform search for human lives, on behalf of rescue personnel, in dangerous environments like earthquack disaster zones or areas with chemical hazards. As a pre-requisite of the system, we consider that the robot is equipped with capability of autonomous mobility, laser range finder for environment mapping and infra-red camera to detect victims. In situations when the remote operation of the robot is difficult due to un-suitable condition of wireless communication or the visibility is low, the autonomous mode based search operation is performed. In the autonomous mode, the locomotion is based on the distance sensor data and the infra-red camera to search and navigate towards a victim and inform the operator about the potion and condition of the victim. In the case of complex environmental situations, like a staircase, or in cases that the infrared camera information may not be reliable to detect a victim, the operator's decisions become essential and the operation mode is switched to the tele-operation mode. In the case on tele-operation mode, the operator may use the information from the optical camera and operate the robot with a joystick. By switching between the tele-operation mode and autonomous mode the weak points of each mode can be compensated. We developed a robot, called KAMUI, which is equipped with the above mentioned pre-requisites. KAMUI is designed to have high mobility in uneven surface conditions and enhanced sensor systems for victim identification. We participated in RoboCup Rescue league and evaluated the effectiveness of the developed system in real situations.

Published in:

Robotics and Biomimetics, 2008. ROBIO 2008. IEEE International Conference on

Date of Conference:

22-25 Feb. 2009