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3-D Active Sensing in Time-Critical Urban Search and Rescue Missions

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2 Author(s)
Mobedi, B. ; Dept. of Mech. & Ind. Eng., Univ. of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada ; Nejat, G.

Mobile robots are currently being developed to help rescue workers in urban disaster environments to search for survivors. Our research focuses on developing robust 3-D sensors that can be used in robotic rescue missions to map these unknown cluttered environments and determine the locations of victims. This paper presents the development of a new active 3-D sensory system for robotic search and rescue in unknown cluttered urban disaster environments. The sensory system can provide high resolution 2-D and 3-D information of a cluttered scene that can be used by a robot operator for real-time viewing as well as to develop a 3-D map of the disaster scene. The main advantage of the proposed sensory system is its robustness to cluttered, and dark and dimly lit environments found in disaster areas. Experimental results are presented to verify the performance of the sensory system in obtaining 3-D sensory information of rubble piles in Urban Search and Rescue like environments as well as the potential use of the sensor for 3-D mapping applications in these unknown environments.

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Mechatronics, IEEE/ASME Transactions on  (Volume:17 ,  Issue: 6 )