The third TRADR General Assembly is going to be held at the TU in Delft from May 3-4, 2017.
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:
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!
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.
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.
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.