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

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Author: Kruijff, G.J.M. · Kruijff-Korbayová, I. · Keshavdas, S. · Larochelle, B. · Janíček, 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. · Reinštein, M. · Zimmermann, K. · Petříček, T. · Hlaváč, V.
Publisher: Robotics Society of Japan
Source:Advanced Robotics, 23, 28, 1547-1570
Identifier: 521618
doi: doi:10.1080/01691864.2014.985335
Keywords: Robotics · Disaster response · Human-robot team · Robot-assisted disaster response · User-centric design · Damage detection · Disasters · Emergency services · Human computer interaction · Intelligent buildings · Intelligent robots · Machine design · Robot programming · Robots · Collaborative planning · Collaborative robots · Disaster response · Human-robot-team · Situation awareness · Situational assessment · Structure damage assessment · User-centric designs · Human robot interaction · Human Performances · PCS - Perceptual and Cognitive Systems · ELSS - Earth, Life and Social Sciences


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.