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

Geert-Jan Kruijff; Ivana Kruijff-Korbayová; Shanker Keshavdas; Benoit Larochelle; Miroslav Janicek; Francis Colas; Ming Liu; François Pomerleau; Roland Siegwart; Mark A. Neerincx; Rosemarijn Looije; Nanja J. J. M. Smets; Tina Mioch; Jurriaan van Diggelen; Fiora Pirri; Mario Gianni; Federico Ferri; Matteo Menna; Rainer Worst; Thorsten Linder; Viatcheslav Tretyakov; Hartmut Surmann; TomᨠSvoboda; Michal Rein¨tein; Karel Zimmermann; TomᨠPetříček; Václav Hlaváč
In: Advanced Robotics, Vol. 28, No. 23, Pages 1547-1570, Taylor & Francis, London, 12/2014.


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.


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