In the emergency of a fire or other crisis a necessary but time consuming preface, which delays the factual rescue operation, is to establish whether the ground can be entered safely by human beings. The VIEW-FINDER project develops robots having the primary task of data gathering. They detect the presence of chemicals and collect camera images and forward the data to an advanced base station.
The robots are provided with a wide array of chemical sensors as well as with on board TV/IR cameras, LADAR and other sensors to enhance scene reconstruction. At the base station the data are processed and connected to geographical information originating from a web of sources; thus providing the command of the operation with in situ data. The information may also be forwarded to other forces involved in the operation (e.g. fire fighters, rescue workers, police).
Besides the task specific sensors, ‘conventional’ sensors support navigation. The robots navigate individually or cooperatively, following high-level instructions from the base station. They are off-the-shelf robots, wheeled robots for the common fire ground and caterpillars for more exceptional occasions. The robots connect wirelessly to the base station and to each other; using a wireless self-organising network of mobile communication nodes (that is other robots) which adapts to the terrain. The robots are intended as the first explorers of the area, as well as in situ supporters and safeguards to human personnel.
The base station collects in-situ data and combines it with information retrieved from the large-scale GMES-information bases. It is equipped with a sophisticated human interface to display the information to the comfort of the human operators and operation command.

Project Objectives:

  1. Inspection of fire or crisis grounds and chemicals and toxic detection
  2. Map building and reconstruction
  3. Interfacing local command and external information sources
  4. Human Interface, integrating information search and robot control
  5. Autonomous robot navigation and multi robot cooperation
  6. Human-Robot cooperation and interaction