In the past years several natural or man-made disasters such as earthquakes and tsunami, or accidents in nuclear power plants have dramatically highlighted the need for effective and efficient robotic systems that can be deployed rapidly after the disaster, to assist in tasks too hazardous for humans to perform. Unfortunately, despite the remarkable efforts and developments in robotics today’s state of the art disaster response robots still does not demonstrate adequate readiness and performance to help addressing this need in realistic disaster conditions. To operate within infrastructures originally designed for humans, but which have become hostile or dangerous, a robot should possess a rich repertoire of human-like skills. It should also exhibit the physical body power, agility and robustness, the manipulation and locomotion capability, and ultimately the effective ability to reach places and physically interact with a harsh environment. This workshop targets to cover the recent advancements in disaster response robotics particularly in the area of robot design principles and control for effective locomotion and manipulation.
The workshop has two goals. The first goal is to bring together researchers working on the development and control of disaster response robotic systems and to present some of the most recent activities and results. We particularly focus on contributions that demonstrate the design/body principles of disaster robots with respect to their locomotion and manipulation mechanisms and how they can be effectively controlled through teleoperation and semi/fully-autonomous interfaces for improving the efficiency of the combined human-robot team. The second goal is to disseminate the relevant knowledge among researchers that are working on different disaster response robotics projects but also to other researchers that are not in the field but are working in areas that are related to the main topics we focused in this workshop. These are people from the robot design/mechatronics community in general as well as researchers working in locomotion and manipulation control.
To conclude, with this workshop we aim at:
- Demonstrating the recent developments in disaster response robotics, giving the opportunity of presenting and discussing recent results of related projects in this hot research area for robotics.
- Disseminating knowledge and fostering collaboration among researchers working on different areas of the focused topics such as robot design, locomotion and manipulation control in unstructured and difficult environments
We expect that the workshop will address and present advancements in the following topics:
- Disaster response robot design
- Locomotion/Manipulation Mechanisms for unstructured environments
- Robust locomotion control in difficult terrains
- Powerful/dextrous manipulation control in cluttered and harsh environments
- Robust perception in affected man-made environments for locomotion/manipulation planning
- Human machine interfaces for Intuitive control
- Mixed-autonomy/teleoperation control
- Evaluation and benchmarking methodologies