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Mimer - Developing a low-cost, heavy-duty reconnaissance robot for use in Urban Search and Rescue operations

Reiner, Björn LU and Svensson, Marcus (2016) MMK820 20161
Product Development
Abstract
Robots currently exist that are specifically designed for use in the wake of disasters to help rescue teams in their work of locating and rescuing individuals trapped in confined spaces. However, they are prohibitively expensive which limits their adoption and causes the operators to think twice before they're deploying a robot with the risk of losing or damaging it.
This project details the first part of a multistage process to explore the field of rescue robotics with the aim to produce an Unmanned Ground Vehicle robot to be used in Urban Search and Rescue missions. The main purpose of it is to quickly gather critical data about the environment to help rescue personnel in their work. The robot is specified to be cheap enough to allow it... (More)
Robots currently exist that are specifically designed for use in the wake of disasters to help rescue teams in their work of locating and rescuing individuals trapped in confined spaces. However, they are prohibitively expensive which limits their adoption and causes the operators to think twice before they're deploying a robot with the risk of losing or damaging it.
This project details the first part of a multistage process to explore the field of rescue robotics with the aim to produce an Unmanned Ground Vehicle robot to be used in Urban Search and Rescue missions. The main purpose of it is to quickly gather critical data about the environment to help rescue personnel in their work. The robot is specified to be cheap enough to allow it to be considered expendable and not impede its usage in the field. It would also be designed to be rugged in order to survive the harsh operating environment with drops from several meters and to be dust- and waterproof. It would be equipped with a camera for navigation and a replaceable sensor module to allow it to switch sensors before being deployed. The project resulted in the development of a proof-of-concept robot that can move with a camera and a slot in the chassis to allow a sensor module to be implemented in the future. Additional suggestions for future developments to complete a production version are described in the concluding chapter of the document along with proposed project descriptions in the appendix section. (Less)
Abstract (Swedish)
Det finns idag robotar som är särskilt anpassade för att användas av räddningsteam i följderna av katastrofer som hjälpmedel i deras arbete att lokalisera och rädda människor instängda i trånga utrymmen. De är dock mycket dyra vilket begränsar deras användande och gör att användarna tvekar innan de skickar in en robot med risken att skada eller förlora den.
Detta projekt dokumenterar det första steget i en flerstegsprocess att utforska området för räddningsrobotar med slutmålet att producera en obemannad markrobot för användning i urbana sök och räddningsaktioner. Huvudmålet med roboten är att den ska snabbt kunna samla kritisk data om räddningsområdet för att hjälpa räddningspersonalen i deras arbete. Roboten är specificerad att vara... (More)
Det finns idag robotar som är särskilt anpassade för att användas av räddningsteam i följderna av katastrofer som hjälpmedel i deras arbete att lokalisera och rädda människor instängda i trånga utrymmen. De är dock mycket dyra vilket begränsar deras användande och gör att användarna tvekar innan de skickar in en robot med risken att skada eller förlora den.
Detta projekt dokumenterar det första steget i en flerstegsprocess att utforska området för räddningsrobotar med slutmålet att producera en obemannad markrobot för användning i urbana sök och räddningsaktioner. Huvudmålet med roboten är att den ska snabbt kunna samla kritisk data om räddningsområdet för att hjälpa räddningspersonalen i deras arbete. Roboten är specificerad att vara tillräckligt billig för att den ska kunna anses förbrukningsbar och inte vara ett hinder för att den ska användas. Den ska även vara robust för att kunna klara av den tuffa arbetsmiljön med fall från flera meter vara och vatten- och damm tålig. Den ska utrustas med en kamera för navigering och en utbytbar sensormodul för att kunna byta utrustas med lämpliga sensorer innan den skickas in. Projektet resulterade i tillverkningen av en s.k. proof-of-concept robot som kan förflytta sig och som har en kamera och en plats i chassit för implementering av en sensormodul. Ytterligare förslag på förbättringar och framtida utveckling beskrivs i det avslutande kapitlet tillsammans med föreslagna projektbeskrivningar i avsnittet för bilagor. (Less)
Popular Abstract
If a huge earthquake just hit and buried you alive; who’s going to find you? Today it could be a helper who’s not even alive. If you’re stuck in a really small space then a rescue dog couldn’t reach you. If the surrounding area is blazing hot or filled with toxic chemicals then rescue personnel couldn’t help. That’s unless they wear special equipment that takes times to equip and restricts their movement and vision.
This is where a specialized robot can come in handy. These nifty things can be made really small and really tough so they can handle all previous challenges without skipping a beat. So if these robots are so great and all, then why aren’t they used all the time? One word: cost. It’s not uncommon for a robot with these skills... (More)
If a huge earthquake just hit and buried you alive; who’s going to find you? Today it could be a helper who’s not even alive. If you’re stuck in a really small space then a rescue dog couldn’t reach you. If the surrounding area is blazing hot or filled with toxic chemicals then rescue personnel couldn’t help. That’s unless they wear special equipment that takes times to equip and restricts their movement and vision.
This is where a specialized robot can come in handy. These nifty things can be made really small and really tough so they can handle all previous challenges without skipping a beat. So if these robots are so great and all, then why aren’t they used all the time? One word: cost. It’s not uncommon for a robot with these skills to cost several thousand dollars which means not all rescue teams can afford them. And even if they did they would hesitate to use them in places where they might be lost or damaged which is where they’re needed the most!
To solve this, the project set out to develop a cheap, rugged robot that can be used by rescue personnel to gather critical information about the area and help find people. The biggest purpose of the robot is that it’s so cheap that it can be considered disposable so if it gets lost or destroyed then you just send in a new one.
Since time and money was short the robot developed in the project was a proof-of-concept that showed the design actually works and could be used in the field. The robot has a camera in the front that transmits a video feed so the driver can see where the robot is and look around the area. It’s controlled with a simple remote controller taken from an RC-car. It also has a slot for a sensor that can be replaced for a different one such as temperature, gas etc. Finally, the internal components are inside a plastic cylinder that is designed to be injection-molded in the future and is cheap and robust. The chassis is protected by two big wheels that were fully tested against other designs to make sure they would protect the chassis from big bumps and help the robot drive across tough terrain. The proof-of-concept has a plastic stick in the back that keeps it balanced and can also be used as a handle to throw the robot into the field.
The project ended with recommended future work that should be done to finish the robot and make it ready to be used. Now it’s up to other researchers to fully realize this robot and to make it a rescuers’ best friend in the field.
If you want to learn more we suggest you check out the website for Center for Robot-Assisted Search and Rescue (CRASAR) at Texas University and listen to this TED-talk about rescue robotics: http://www.ted.com/talks/robin_murphy_these_robots_come_to_the_rescue_after_a_disaster (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Reiner, Björn LU and Svensson, Marcus
supervisor
organization
course
MMK820 20161
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
robot, search and rescue, robust, sensors, simple
language
English
id
8892257
date added to LUP
2016-09-28 16:37:29
date last changed
2016-09-28 16:37:29
@misc{8892257,
  abstract     = {Robots currently exist that are specifically designed for use in the wake of disasters to help rescue teams in their work of locating and rescuing individuals trapped in confined spaces. However, they are prohibitively expensive which limits their adoption and causes the operators to think twice before they're deploying a robot with the risk of losing or damaging it.
This project details the first part of a multistage process to explore the field of rescue robotics with the aim to produce an Unmanned Ground Vehicle robot to be used in Urban Search and Rescue missions. The main purpose of it is to quickly gather critical data about the environment to help rescue personnel in their work. The robot is specified to be cheap enough to allow it to be considered expendable and not impede its usage in the field. It would also be designed to be rugged in order to survive the harsh operating environment with drops from several meters and to be dust- and waterproof. It would be equipped with a camera for navigation and a replaceable sensor module to allow it to switch sensors before being deployed. The project resulted in the development of a proof-of-concept robot that can move with a camera and a slot in the chassis to allow a sensor module to be implemented in the future. Additional suggestions for future developments to complete a production version are described in the concluding chapter of the document along with proposed project descriptions in the appendix section.},
  author       = {Reiner, Björn and Svensson, Marcus},
  keyword      = {robot,search and rescue,robust,sensors,simple},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Mimer - Developing a low-cost, heavy-duty reconnaissance robot for use in Urban Search and Rescue operations},
  year         = {2016},
}