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.
The TRADR Joint Exercise (T-JEx) 2016 took place in July 2016 in Prague, Czech Republic, organized by the TRADR partners in collaboration with end-users from firebrigades from Germany, Italy and the Netherlands. The location was the CTU campus. Over the course of a week a range of integration sessions, exercises and tests took place in order to integrate various functionalities developed by the TRADR partners, and assess the performance of the TRADR system.
This resulted in more integration of various components developed by partners, along with the successful deployment of some new features in a mission-like environment. Examples of these were e.g. autonomous navigation by UGVs based on local traversability map, the recording and building of maps in a first sortie, and subsequently loading and using this map for UGV navigation in following sorties. In addition, experience was gained in executing a mission with three UGVs at the teams disposal, which posed a considerable increase in complexity, also because of the increased functionalities that the UGVs were capable of.
Overall the exercise was very useful, as it enabled the team to test the aforementioned features outside of a lab-setting, thus marking an incremental step towards a more mature system.
Further information about the workshop is available online at
On Tuesday 15th – Thursday 17th of December 2015 the TRADR ITEX workshop took place at the TU in Delft.
Partners and end-users met to test parts of the integrated system and have discussions about the following topics:
– Improvement and speed-up of the system integration
– End-user experiences with current components
– Usage of scenario simulators
– TDS (TRADR display system) progress and end-user visions
Teamwork between robots and firefighters during 2nd TRADR evaluation exercise in Dortmund
In September 2015 the 2nd TRADR Evaluation Exercise (TEval) was held in Dortmund, Germany, at an old industrial complex of a former blast furnace, in collaboration with Dortmund firefighters. The EU FP7 TRADR project develops technology for human-robot teams to assist in disaster response efforts, over multiple missions. Two types of robots – Unmanned Ground Vehicles (UGV) and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) – work together with human firefighters. The TRADR consortium consists of nine research partners and three end-user organizations from different European countries. TU Delft is responsible for human-robot teaming.
The purpose of the exercise was to evaluate how well the TRADR system is able to support firefighters in a disaster response mission. The exercise was part of an incremental research and development cycle through which the technology – robots capabilities as well as related infrastructure – is gradually maturing.
Compared to last year’s exercise, new aspects included:
- A more integrated GUI for human operators (the GUI system was redeveloped from scratch to better fit in with the rest of the system).
- Integrated audio communication for human team members (as opposed to Walkie–Talkies).
- Improved data persistence: data collected in previous sorties could be re-used.
- More advanced robot capabilities, such as:
- Autonomous mapping and localization (SLAM), where the maps could be reused at a later stage.
- Autonomous driving of the UGV based on way-points indicated by an operator.
- A robotic arm mounted on top of the UGV to manipulate objects in the field.
- Automated victim detection.
- More advanced visuals, including 3D point cloud maps and thermal cameras to detect heat sources.
In addition to testing the integrated system from a technical point of view, valuable feedback was collected from the firefighters. Overall they were favorably regarding the potential of the system, and in addition helped identify points for improvement. The gathered data and experience will feed into the next system’s iterations.