Team members of TRADR received the Best Late Breaking Report Award at the International Symposium on Safety, Security and Rescue Robotics (SSRR) 2016 for their work titled “3D Localization, Mapping and Path Planning for Search and Rescue Operations”. The report issued from a collaboration with the Alcor Lab from the Sapienza University of Rome and presented results obtained at the third Joint Exercise of the FP7 TRADR project.
On Thursday September 1 2016 a team of the TRADR project deployed two ground robots and three drones in Amatrice, Italy, to assist the post-earthquake response. The team was asked by the Italian Vigili del Fuoco (VVFF), represented by Emanuele Gissi, to provide 3D textured models of two churches: San Francesco and Sant’Agostino, both in a state of partial collapse, in need of shoring to prevent potential further destruction and to preserve the national heritage.
UGV in San Francesco church, aerial view by the UAV that also entered.
View taken by the UAV inside the San Francesco church
We entered San Francesco with two UGVs (operated by Vlada Kubelka and Mario Gianni, who were supported by Erik Zimmermann and Luigi Freda, respectively), teleoperating them entirely out of line of sight, and partially in collaboration: one UGV provided a view of the other one to enable maneuvering in very constrained space with low connection bandwidth.
View taken by the UAV inside the Sant Agostino church
UAV entering the Sant Agostino church (red circle). Two other UAVs provide a view for maneuvering (one in yellow circle, the other providing the image).
Several flights were carried out on the outside and one flight inside of each church. Entering with the drone was a tough challenge, which we managed thanks to a collaboration between three drones operated in parallel: while one drone (piloted by Hartmut Surmann who was supported by Erik Zimmermann) was entering through a hole in the roof the other two (piloted by Kresimir Dilic and Wolfgang Rottner) were providing simultaneous video feed from different angles. The mission fulfilled its goal to collect data for the construction of high quality textured 3D models. Additional great success was the fact that the TRADR team was able to arrive and deploy at the location within 48 hours from receiving the request. The VVFF has expressed high appreciation to the TRADR project for the success of the mission and the smooth operation.
The main street of Amatrice after the earthquake, state on Friday Sep1 2016.
TRADR team in Amatrice (left-to-right): Erik Zimmermann; Wolfgang Rottner; Hartmut Surmann; Ivana Kruijff-Korbayová; Emanuele Gissi;VdF fire fighter; policeman Luigi Ugliano; Mario Gianni; Kneeling: Krešimir Dilic; Václav Hlaváč; Luigi Freda; Valsamis Ntouskos; Vladimír Kubelka.
Browsable versions of the 3D models of the interior and exterior of both San Francesco and Sant’Agostino churches generated from the data collected during the deployment in Amatrice can be accessed here.
The news of deployment was reported by Reuters, although without reference to the TRADR project. Many other media took this announcement and video over. In Germnay, for example: Frankfurter Allgemeine, Sueddeutsche Zeitung, n24, Die Zeit, Stern, MSN.
The euRathlon/TRADR Workshop and Summer School 2016 on Heterogeneity in Robotics Systems is designed as a five-day course to provide participants with both theoretical and practical insight in multi-domain real robotic systems for deployment in disaster response scenarios. The trend in this area is going towards multi-robot systems with different outfits, processing powers and operation spaces (ground, water, air) that shall be deployed over long periods and several sorties. This raises many challenges, including multi-modal heterogeneous mapping, semantic analysis and reasoning, (collaborative) planning under uncertainty. The summer school program will consist of lectures on these topics, and hands-on sessions during which the participants work on practical tasks using several robots with different sensory equipment. The intended audience is undergraduate students, Master students, PhD students, postdoc students, researchers from universities/organizations and engineers from industry companies around the world.
The summer school is jointly organised by EURATHLON and TRADR EU Horizon 2020 and FP7 projects, respectively.
Juha Röning (University of Oulu, Finland)
Ivana Kruijff-Korbayová (DFKI, Germany)
Marta Palau Franco (UWE Bristol, UK)
Abel Gawel (ETH Zurich, Switzerland)
Renaud Dubé (ETH Zurich, Switzerland)
Summers school venue
Oulu, Finland, at the University of Oulu. www.oulu.fi
Pentti Kaiteran katu 1, 90014 Oulu, Finland.
– Application deadline 31 May 2016
– Notification of acceptance: 3 June 2016
– Registration deadline: 15 June 2016
– Summer school kick-off: 22 August 2016
Applications should be submitted via email in PDF format to Prof Juha Röning (firstname.lastname@example.org). All applicants must provide a free format letter (max. 2 pages) describing their research. Papers/posters are not compulsory for attending the summer school, but participants who have submitted a paper will have priority over participants who haven not submitted one.
Registration fee with accommodation: 230€/person
Registration fee without accommodation: 60€/person
Students enrolled in EU Universities, EU Research Centres or EU Companies have the possibility of getting travel support.
The TRADR Year 2 review took place in Dortmund (Germany) on Wednesday March 16 and Thursday March 17. On Wednesday the consortium presented its scientific results and on Thursday we demonstrated the integrated system at Phönix Phönix West, an abandoned furnace. The integrated system showcased Y2 work, with emphasis on persistence. The demonstration mission was carried out by a team consisting of a mission commander, a team leader, two UGVs each with an operator and one UAV with an operator and a pilot. One of the UGVs had a camera-equipped arm. The human team members operated remotely from a command truck, except for the UAV pilot in line of sight. The team assessed a part of the building, searched for victims and sources of potentially dangerous materials. The UAV was used for initial overview and subsequent search on the outside, the UGVs explored multilevel terrain inside, partially obstructed by smoke. Main focus was on acquiring and sharing situation awareness among team members across multiple sorties and across team shifts. The robots mapped the environment, provided a video feed and were used to take photos. The human team members were equipped with interfaces presenting them information according to their role(s). Team communication and information about the progress of the mission were collected and accessible in a mission reporting tool. We demonstrated various partial autonomy features designed to facilitate the human operators’ task, including terrain profile estimation from interoceptive sensing, adaptive traversability to automatically control the UGV flippers, a novel free-look control mode for the UGV, virtual bumpers on the UAV. Finally, a mixed-initiative path planning approach and a novel mapping framework designed to support persistence and decrease computational load were also presented. The overall progress of the project was evaluated by the predicate “very good”.