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Group of unmanned assistant robots deployed in aggregative navigation supported by scent detection

Objective

The GUARDIANS are a swarm of autonomous robots applied to navigate and search an urban ground. The project's central example is an industrial warehouse in smoke, as proposed by the Fire and Rescue Service. The job is time consuming and dangerous; toxics may be released and humans senses can be severely impaired. They get disoriented and may get lost. The robots warn for toxic chemicals, provide and maintain mobile communication links, infer localisation information and assist in searching. They enhance operational safety and speed and thus indirectly save lives.

The robots navigate autonomously and accompany a human squad-leader. They connect to a wireless ad-hoc network and forward data to the squad-leader and the control station. The network is self-organising, adapts to connection failures by modifying its connections from local up to central connections. The autonomous swarm operates in communicative and non-communicative mode. In communicative mode automatic service discovery is applied: the robots find peers to help them. The wireless network also enables the robots to support a human squad-leader operating within close range. The aim is for flexible and seamless switching between these modes in order to compensate for loss of network signals and to support and safeguard the squad-leader. Several robot platforms are used, off-the-shelf mini-robots as well as middle sized robots. The emphasis in data collection is on toxic plume detection, to enable olfactory-based navigation, allow safe progress for the human squad-leader and to detect plume sources.

The major aim of the project is to develop a swarm of autonomous robots that is able to adequately assist and safeguard a human squad leader. The project organises workshops with end-users (rescue workers and fire-fighters) and the advisory board, to assess the demonstrations and to disseminate research results. The workshops, moreover, aim at exploring additional exploitation of results.

Funding Scheme

STREP - Specific Targeted Research Project

Coordinator

SHEFFIELD HALLAM UNIVERSITY
Address
Howard Street
S1 1WB Sheffield
United Kingdom

Participants (8)

FACULDADE CIENCIAS E TECNOLOGIA DA UNIVERSIDADE DE COIMBRA
Portugal
Address
Rua Silvio Lima, Polo Ii - Universidade De Coimbra
3030-790 Coimbra
K-TEAM SA
Switzerland
Address
Rue Galilee 9
1400 Yverdon-les-bains
ROBOTNIK AUTOMATION, SLL
Spain
Address
Calle Berni Y Catala, 53, Bajo Izquierda
46019 Valencia
SOUTH YORKSHIRE FIRE AND RESCUE SERVICE
United Kingdom
Address
Regent Street
S70 2PQ Barnsley
SPACE APPLICATIONS SERVICES
Belgium
Address
Leuvensesteenweg 325
1932 Zaventem
TOBB EKONOMI VE TEKNOLOJI UNIVERSITESI
Turkey
Address
Sogutozu Cad. 43, Sogutozu
06560 Ankara
UNIVERSITAET PADERBORN
Germany
Address
Warburger Strasse 100
33098 Paderborn
UNIVERSITAT JAUME I DE CASTELLON
Spain
Address
Avenida Vicent Sos Baynat S/n
12006 Castellon De La Plana