What is Rescue Robot?

Human rescuers have very short time (about 48 hours) to find trapped victims in a collapsed structure, otherwise the chance of finding victims still alive is nearly zero. In such a critical situation technology can make a great help for rescuers. Intelligent mobile robots and cooperative multi-agent robotic systems can be very efficient tools to speed up search and rescue operations. Rescue robots are also useful to do rescuing jobs in situations that are hazardous for human rescuers. They can enter into gaps and move trough small holes that is impossible for humans and even trained dogs. Robots should explore in collapsed structure, extract the map, search for victims and report the location of victims in map and way that rescue team can reach him/her.It can also place a small package containing food, drugs and a communication device near the victim. 
Our preliminary aim in this project is to build an autonomous robot which could be able to hang around in an unstructured environment and search for victims. To do this job we are facing up with many different challenges that most important of them are listed below:

 

Mechanical Challenge :

It is not easy to design a mechanical system to be able to hang around easily in unstructured environment of a collapsed building. Besides it must be robust against hazards and be able to catch its normal position if  turned over while moving on a debris.
 

Obstacle Avoidance :

Robot should avoid of collision for two reasons. First for avoiding dangerous locking situations for robot, and second for preventing to make more damage in environment. Obstacles are static or dynamic and have different shapes and characteristics. 

Victim Detection :

This is a very difficult task especially in unstructured environment of a collapsed building. The only signs of a victim are his/her moaning voice, body temperature, wearing texture, body scent.


Localization and Path Planning :

To determine victim position for human rescuers, robot has to be able to determine its position. Also it should be able find its path in ruins to search for victims and go out of structure after end of its mission. 

 

Publications

1-Saeed Moradi, "Victim detection with Infrared Camera in a Rescue Robot", ICAIS 2002, Australia.
2-Farid Mobasser, "Rescue Robot; a New Robotics Research Domain", Sharif Univ. CE Dept., 2000. 


Department of Computer Engineering, Sharif University of Technology
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 by Saeed Sharifi Tehrani