Category: ‘Post’

Curves repository is now public

3 February, 2017 Posted by tradr_admin

The objective of the TRADR project is to enable a team of humans and robots to collaborate in a disaster response scenario which can last over several days. To achieve this, one of the core capabilities of the robots is their capacity to create a 3D map of their environment and to localize themselves within this map.

The TRADR consortium has recently open-sourced three libraries with the purpose of enabling robots equipped with 3D laser scanners to perform the above mentioned tasks. The curves library is used to represent the robot’s continuous-time trajectory in 3D space while the laser_slam library implements the back-end estimation functionalities of the localization and mapping system. The SegMatch library finally enables the robots to recognize previously visited places and to transmit this information to the back-end in order to close loops and to register trajectories of different robots.

Links to libraries:

https://github.com/ethz-asl/curves
https://github.com/ethz-asl/laser_slam
https://github.com/ethz-asl/segmatch

The following figure illustrates a map which was generated by fusing 3D laser scanner measurements from two unmanned ground vehicles which were collected during the TRADR Evaluation exercise at the Gustav Knepper Power Station in Dortmund, Germany. The map is coloured by height and the robot trajectories are represented as blue and red lines.

For more information about the place recognition algorithm please consult our paper (https://arxiv.org/pdf/1609.07720v1.pdf) and have a look at our video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iddCgYbgpjE). Easy to run demonstrations can be found in the wiki page of the SegMatch repository. More to come!

Best SSRR 2016 Late Breaking Report Award

1 November, 2016 Posted by tradr_admin

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.

 

Third TRADR Evaluation Exercise

29 October, 2016 Posted by tradr_admin

The yearly TRADR Evaluation exercise (T-Eval) took place end October 2016 in Dortmund, Germany. The location was an old coal-fired power plant `Knepper’ in Dortmund, a large industrial complex which offered multiple stories, obstacles and rubble and allowed for indoor UAV flying.

 

 

Together with end-users from the fire department of the city of Dortmund, a number of disaster response exercises were enacted in which the TRADR system was used to provide robotic response.

Mission objectives included scanning of the environment and creation of maps enabling autonomous UGV navigation, multi-robot patrolling and searching for Points of Interest, such as smoke, fire and victims.

In addition, the robotic arm mounted on the UGVs was used to retrieve a chemical sample from the disaster environment. The exercises were successful and will contribute to a further improvement and refinement of the TRADR system in Year 4 of the project.

 

Presentation at CTIF Delegates Assembly & Symposium, Sep 8-9 2016 in Helsinki

10 September, 2016 Posted by tradr_admin

160909-helsinki-ctif_titlepageivanactif2016

On Sep 9 2016 the TRADR coordinator I. Kruijff-Korbayova gave an invited talk about robot-assisted disaster response in Helsinki at the Delegates Assembly & Symposium of CTIF, the International Association of Fire and Rescue Services.  CTIF was founded in 1999 as an international professional firebrigade competency network for encouraging and promoting co-operation among fire fighters and other experts in fire and rescue. It has members from 36 countries around the world.  Its work is organized by commissions which set up working groups on specific themes.

I. Kruijff-Korbayova is a member of the CTIF commission on Extrication and New Technology, which she has been invited to join after her invited talk at the International Conference of CTIF  on December 9 2015 at the Italian Firebrigade Academy (Istituto Superiore Anticendi, ISA) in Rome (see an earlier post). The commission for Extrication and New Technology was established in 2013 to work on standards in order to be able to harmonise information and training for the rescue services.

The presentation was part of the CTIF Symposium on”Responding to the Unexpected” and featured the results of the NIFTi and TRADR projects, including the recent success of the TRADR deployment in Amatrice, Italy, destroyed by a devastating earthquake on August 24 2016. The presentation was met with great resonance from the representatives of fire and rescue services, and many expressed interest to further explore the use of robots to support disaster response. TRADR will continue to strengthen the collaboration with these organizations.

TRADR successfully deployed robot technology for disaster response in Amatrice

1 September, 2016 Posted by tradr_admin

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 inside SF

UGV in San Francesco church, aerial view by the UAV that also entered.

inside SF

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.

inside SA

View taken by the UAV inside the Sant Agostino church

UAVenteringSF

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.

amatrice_after

The main street of Amatrice after the earthquake, state on Friday Sep1 2016.

TRADR_Amatrice_deployment_team

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.

A short paper about the deployment has been published at the International Symposium on Safety,  Security and Rescue Robotics, EPFL, Lausanne, Switzerland, Oct 23-27 2016.

TRADR media announcements about the Amatrice deployment:

News/Articles in specialized media:

  • Article in computer-automation, Sept 9 2016 (in German)
  • Article on RoboHub, Sept 8 2016 (in English)
  • Unmanned Systems News, Sept 6 2016 (in English)
  • Article in idw-online, Sept 5 2016 (in German)

General news coverage, see for example:

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.

See more links to press coverage here.

 

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