NIFTi was present at the recent InnoRobo trade fair in Lyon, France. InnoRobo is an annual trade fair, where industry and academic efforts in robotics meet and present their latest results. At this year's InnoRobo, NIFTi demonstrated its recent work on human-robot teaming in robot-assisted disaster response.
The IEEE Spectrum magazine recently published an article about NIFTi, entitled "Robot to human: Trust me." The article appeared in print, and online.
A 4-page summary of the progress NIFTi made in its Year 3 is now available for download, as PDF.
An interview and documentary-like description of the NIFTi deployment in Northern Italy, Summer 2012 recently aired at Swiss Radio. For the article and the audio, see here: [ http://www.srf.ch/wissen/technik/roboter-im-notfalleinsatz ]
Busy times: We are presenting our project results, and our experience from the recent deployment in Mirandola (July 2012), all over the world: An invited talk and several presentations at IEEE SSRR 2012, an invited talk at UT Austin, and a keynote speech at RobMech 2012 in South Africa.
This year, NIFTi develops its systems further, in the context of a train accident use case. This use case extends the tunnel accident by providing a larger area, with more complex (3D) obstacles and structures to traverse, and a possibility to deploy a human acting as in-field observer to provide feedback to the remote command-post "from the ground."
The EU has issued a press release about the recent NIFTi efforts in Mirandola, Italy.
If you would like to have more details on the kinds of systems NIFTi develops, how we develop them, and how we evaluate them, have a look at this paper which recently appeared at the 8th Int. Conf. on Field & Service Robotics in Sendai/Matsushima, Japan.
What follows is an informal experience report of our deployment in earthquake-hit Mirandola, Emilia-Romagna region, Italy.
Utilizzati, per la prima volta in Europa, dei robot controllati a distanza per effettuare rilievi tridimensionali nelle zone a rischio crollo. L'esperimento è stato effettuato, con un'operazione congiunta Vigili del Fuoco - Università “La Sapienza”, a Mirandola dal 24 al 27 luglio nell'ambito del progetto europeo "NIFTi - Natural human-robot cooperation in dynamic environments".
On May 20 2012, the Emilia-Romagna region in Northern Italy was hit by a sequence of earthquakes. This was followed up by a further earthquake on May 29, and aftershocks on June 3 and 6. The earthquakes and shocks caused major damage, in a region known for its rich and long cultural heritage. From Tuesday July 24, until Friday July 27, the EU-funded project NIFTi successfully deployed a team of humans and robots in Mirandola, Emilia-Romagna. The team deployed upon request from the Vigili del Fuoco, the Italian national rescue organization in charge of disaster response and recovery. The team was co-led by DFKI (Saarbrücken) and the University La Sapienza (Rome). The goal was to aid the Vigili del Fuoco and the Beni Culturali (Ministry of Culture) in assessing damage to various churches.
The University of Rome La Sapienza has issued an official press release regarding the NIFTi deployment in Mirandola last week.
A first selection of photos from our deployment to earthquake-hit Mirandola in Emilia-Romagna, Italy is now available as a Facebook album.
This week, NIFTi deployed two UGVs and two UAVs to help the Vigili del Fuoco in assessing damage to cultural heritage in Mirandola, Italy. Mirandola is in the Emilia-Romagna region, which was hit hard earlier this year by several earthquakes.
All the PUBLIC deliverables for Year 2 have been uploaded to the NIFTi website.
The NIFTi consortium recently presented its latest results in science & technology for human-robot collaboration in USAR, at the Year 2 review. The review was hosted by the Istituto Superiore Antincendi in Rome (Italy), and the Scuola di Formazione Operativa at Montelibretti (Italy).
To provide a better view on or into large objects, NIFTi created a KOHGA3-style arm to lift a camera platform up to 1.50m. Using this arm, the robot and its operator can look for example into cars or trucks, or onto larger rubble piles. The new arm was demonstrated at the recent Year 2 review, at SFO in Montelibretti (Italy).
In Year 2 the project focused on "human-assisted joint exploration" of a tunnel accident disaster site. We approached the problem from the viewpoint of a human-robot team, involving several humans at a remote command post, one in-field human to pilot a UAV, and a UGV (operated from the remote command post).
The NIFTi mission statement recently got translated into Haitian Creole, for Web Geeks Science.
￼NIFTi made an appearance in a recent article on rescue robotics, published in c’t (2/2012, “Autonome Vorhut: Neue Techniken bei Rettungsrobotern”). The article was followed by a two-page interview with Geert-Jan Kruijff (DFKI LT, coordinator NIFTi). Also, the NIFTi robot recently made the cover of a magazine - the Journal of Field Robotics (Jan/Feb 2012).