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About NIFTi
NIFTi is about human-robot cooperation. About teams of robots and humans doing tasks together, interacting together to try and reach a shared goal. NIFTi looks at how the robot could bear the human in mind. Literally. When determining what to do or say next in human-robot interaction; when, and how. NIFTi puts the human factor into cognitive robots, and human-robot team interaction in particular.   Each year, NIFTi evaluates its systems together with several USAR organizations. Rescue personnel teams up with NIFTi robots to carry out realistic missions, in real-life training areas. 

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Geert-Jan M Kruijff, Ivana Kruijff-Korbayová, Shanker Keshavdas, Benoit Larochelle, Miroslav Janíček, Francis Colas, Ming Liu, François Pomerleau, Roland Siegwart, Mark A Neerincx, Rosemarijn Looije, Nanja JJM Smets, Tina Mioch, Jurriaan van Diggelen, Fiora Pirri, Mario Gianni, Federico Ferri, Matteo Menna, Rainer Worst, Thorsten Linder, Viatcheslav Tretyakov, Hartmut Surmann, Tomáš Svoboda, Michal Reinštein, Karel Zimmermann, Tomáš Petříček, and Václav Hlaváč (2014)

Designing, developing, and deploying systems to support human–robot teams in disaster response

Advanced Robotics, special issue on Disaster Response Robotics, 28(23):1547-1570.

This paper describes our experience in designing, developing and deploying systems for supporting human–robot teams during disaster response. It is based on R&D performed in the EU-funded project NIFTi. NIFTi aimed at building intelligent, collaborative robots that could work together with humans in exploring a disaster site, to make a situational assessment. To achieve this aim, NIFTi addressed key scientific design aspects in building up situation awareness in a human–robot team, developing systems using a user-centric methodology involving end users throughout the entire R&D cycle, and regularly deploying implemented systems under real-life circumstances for experimentation and testing. This has yielded substantial scientific advances in the state-of-the-art in robot mapping, robot autonomy for operating in harsh terrain, collaborative planning, and human–robot interaction. NIFTi deployed its system in actual disaster response activities in Northern Italy, in July 2012, aiding in structure damage assessment.

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