HELIOS Tracked Robot Team: Mobile RT System for Special Urban Search and Rescue Operations
Ryuichi Hodoshima*1, Michele Guarnieri*2,
Ryo Kurazume*3, Hiroshi Masuda*4, Takao Inoh*5,
Paulo Debenest*2, Edwardo F. Fukushima*6,
and Shigeo Hirose*6
*Graduate School of Science and Engineering, Saitama University, 255 Shimo-Okubo, Sakura-ku, Saitama-shi, Saitama 338-8570, Japan
*2HiBot Corporation, Meguro Hanatani Bldg.801, 2-18-3 Shimo-Meguro, Meguro-ku, Tokyo 153-0062, Japan
*3Graduate School of Information Science and Electrical Engineering, Kyushu University, 744 Motooka, Nishi-ku, Fukuoka 819-0395, Japan
*4IBM Japan Ltd., 19-21 Nihonbashi Hakozaki-cho, Chuo-ku, Tokyo 103-8510, Japan
*5Atelier E-N, 1-36-4 Hashikadai, Narita-shi, Chiba 286-0037, Japan
*6Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Tokyo Institute of Technology, 2-12-1, Ookayama, Meguro-ku, Tokyo 152-8552, Japan
Fire brigades and other specialized agencies are often required to undertake extremely dangerous search and rescue operations in which it is important first to verify the safety of the environment and then to obtain clear remote images of the inside of buildings and underground areas. Several studies have addressed the possibility of using robotic tools to make such operations safer for operators and more efficient in time and resource allocations. This paper describes the development of the HELIOS team, consisting of five tracked urban search and rescue robots. Two of these have arms and grippers for specialized tasks, such as handling objects and opening doors. The other three use cameras and laser range finders to construct virtual 3D maps of environment explored, moving autonomously while collecting data using a Cooperative Positioning System (CPS). After introducing robot team specifications, we detail mechanical robot design and control systems. We then present test results for the CPS and HELIOS IX vehicle together with typical mission experiments.
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