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Designing, developing, and deploying systems to support human-robot teams in disaster response

: Kruijff, G.J.M.; Kruijff-Korbayová, I.; Keshavdas, S.; Larochelle, B.; Janicek, M.; Colas, F.; Liu, M.; Pomerleau, F.; Siegwart, R.; Neerincx, M.A.; Looije, R.; Smets, N.J.J.M.; Mioch, T.; Diggelen, J. van; Pirri, F.; Gianni, M.; Ferri, F.; Menna, M.; Worst, R.; Linder, T.; Tretyakov, V.; Surmann, H.; Svoboda, T.; Reinstein, M.; Zimmermann, K.; Petricek, T.; Hlavác, V.


Advanced robotics 28 (2014), Nr.23, S.1547-1570
ISSN: 0169-1864
European Commission EC
FP7-ICT; 247870; NIFTi
Fraunhofer IAIS ()

This paper describes our experience in designing, developing and deploying systems for supporting human-robot teams during disaster response. It is based on R&D performed in the EU-funded project NIFTi. NIFTi aimed at building intelligent, collaborative robots that could work together with humans in exploring a disaster site, to make a situational assessment. To achieve this aim, NIFTi addressed key scientific design aspects in building up situation awareness in a human-robot team, developing systems using a user-centric methodology involving end users throughout the entire R&D cycle, and regularly deploying implemented systems under real-life circumstances for experimentation and testing. This has yielded substantial scientific advances in the state-of-the-art in robot mapping, robot autonomy for operating in harsh terrain, collaborative planning, and human-robot interaction. NIFTi deployed its system in actual disaster response activities in Northern Italy, in July 2012, aiding in structure damage assessment.