Category: ‘Media & Press’

TRADR Technology Day 2017 in Rotterdam

17 November, 2017 Posted by tradr_admin

More than 60 guests from the Netherlands and abroad gathered on the premises of the RDM Congress Center in Rotterdam on November 17 2017 for the TRADR Technology Day. Most of them represented various Firebrigade organizations, several came from robotics companies and some from universities and research institutes. The program of the day consisted of presentations, discussions, a poster session and demonstrations of the TRADR integrated system.

In the introduction about the TRADR project the coordinator Ivana Kruijff-Korbayova explained the TRADR goals, approach and outcomes. She stressed the importance of the close collaboration between researchers and end users in TRADR, which has also enabled the project to deploy its technology in a real disaster response after the earthquake in Amatrice, Italy in 2016.  Presentation

 

Martijn Zagwijn, information management specialist of Firebrigade Twente introduced the drone project he is leading. The drone project provides disaster management support and has been in operation since January 1 2016 after two years of preparations, needed to comply with all regulations. Currently it is being extended to a nation-wide project. Presentation

 

Hauke Speth, head of the Training Department and Institute for Fire and Rescue Technology at City of Dortmund Fire Department reviewed the experiences of the Dortmund Firebrigage with the use of robots in the research projects ANCHORS and TRADR and the ensuing inclusion of a drone as part of their regular incident response capability. He stressed that it is essential that operators be used to deploy the systems in everyday practice, and underlined the importance of collaboration between research, industry and end users in order to advance the use of robots for disaster response. Presentation

During the poster session the TRADR project partners presented their results in a broad range of areas:  learning for exploration, detection and 3D mapping; learning and modelling for terrain perception and robot control; perception and control for manoeuvring and manipulation; multi-robot localisation and change detection; multi-robot autonomous patrolling and exploration; 3D mapping for UAVs; human-robot teamwork modelling; enhancing human-robot team performance with work agreements;  team communication processing; user strategy for tactical command.

The TRADR integrated system was presented in action in a simulated incident response mission enacted at the Deltalinqs training plant. End users from the Gezaamenlijke Brandweer controlled the TRADR ground robots to explore the incident area, locate victims, identify hazard sources and collect samples. The guests could observe the mission progress in the TRADR command post, where they could see how TRADR supports  situation awareness of the team,  and in the field, where they obtained explanations about the robot capabilities, including mapping, autonomous terrain traversal, guided manipulation and multi-robot patrolling and exploration. Since the regulations did not allow the team to fly the TRADR UAVs, the capabilities for UAV 3D mapping and data collection were explained using video material.

During the discussion sessions the participants exchanged experience and opinions about the current and future use of robots in incident response, the obstacles that block robot use and how to overcome them. The representatives of the Dutch Firebrigade organizations used the opportunity to discuss how to synchronize their efforts at the national level.

 

The TRADR Technology Day provided an opportunity for fruitful discussions and establishing new contacts.
We hope that it has made a useful contribution to the future of robot-assisted disaster response. A video from the event can be found here.

 

The event was part of the European Robotics Week 2017. Tweet about the event #ERW2017.

TRADR demonstration for general public at the European Robotics League Emergency competition

15 September, 2017 Posted by tradr_admin

A presentation of the TRADR project and a life demonstration of the TRADR system took place as part of the Public Program accompanying the European Robotics League – Emergency competition taking place on September 15-23 2017 in Piombino, Italy. The ERL Emergency is a civilian, outdoor robotics competition, with a focus on realistic, multi-domain emergency response scenarios. Inspired by the 2011 Fukushima accident, the ERL Emergency Grand Challenge can only be overcome when land, underwater and flying robots successfully cooperate. A public event late night on Sunday September 17 featured three EU-funded projects in the area of emergency response: Walk-Man, Sherpa and TRADR. The TRADR coordinator Ivana Kruijff-Korbayova (DFKI MLT) together with Emanuele Gissi, a Fire Officer of the Italian Firecorps (Vigili del Fuoco) delivered a presentation about the scientific results of TRADR and the TRADR deployment in Amatrice after the devastating earthquake of August 2016. Luigi Freda (La Sapienza University, Rome) demonstrated two TRADR ground robots in action in autonomous multi-robot patrolling. The event was attended among others by Mady Delvaux, Member of the European Parliament,   Anne Bajart from the EC,   Alan Winfield from University of the West of England and the ERL Emergency Coordinator, Reinhard Lafrenz, Secretary General of euRobotics AISBL. The TRADR presentation and demonstration were a great success that draw the attention of a big audience despite the late night hour.

 

TRADR SIKS Summerschool 2017, August 21-25 in Utrecht, The Netherlands

21 August, 2017 Posted by tradr_admin

 

An international group of students, postdocs and researchers with interest in the topic of human-robot teaming met in Utrecht on August 21-25 to attend the TRADR/SIKS summer school (https://sites.google.com/view/tradr/home).

The 5-day course covered aspects of teaming and collaboration between humans and robots in multiple domains.

 

Ivana Kruijff-Korbayová (DFKI)

 

 

and Robin Murphy (Texas A&M University)

 

addressed the use of robots in disaster response missions.  Matt Johnson (Florida Institute for Human & Machine Cognition) presented Coactive Design and interdependence analysis, which help designers understand the impact of design choices on overall system performance when designing advanced and sophisticated human-machine systems. In a similar vein, Mark Neerincx (TNO) presented the situated Cognitive Engineering (sCE) methodology, which provides the ingredients for a systematic integration of human factors into an incremental and iterative development process. David Abbink (Delft University of Technology) shared insights in control using physical interaction through forces, applied in successful prototypes for controlling vehicles and telerobotic arms. Also Pieter Jonker  (Delft University of Technology) shared his rich experience in developing  robots for various applications.  Maj. W.A.Samson (Royal Netherlands Army) and Sgt-Maj. Ben Schaik (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) shared their experiences with deployment of air and ground unmanned vehicles, respectively. The summer school program was rounded off by several practical interactive sessions. This was the fourth and final TRADR summer school.

See also the blogpost by Roland Meertens for further information.

 

 

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.

 

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.