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Test Arenas and Performance Metrics for Urban Search and Rescue Robots

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000125631D
Original Publication Date: 2003-Oct-31
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Jun-09
Document File: 7 page(s) / 260K

Publishing Venue

National Institute of Standards and Technology

Related People

Adam Jacoff: INVENTOR [+5]

Abstract

In this paper, we discuss the development and proliferation of robot test arenas that provide tangible, realistic, and challenging environments for mobile robot researchers interested in urban search and rescue applications and other unstructured environments. These arenas allow direct comparison of robotic approaches, objective performance evaluation, and can ultimately provide a proving ground for field-able robotic systems such as those used at the World Trade Center collapse. International robot competitions using these arenas require robots to negotiate complex and collapsed structures, find simulated victims, and generate human readable maps of the environment. A performance metric is presented which quantifies several pertinent robot capabilities and produces an overall score used to evaluate and compare robotic implementations. Future directions for the arenas and the competitions are also discussed.

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Test Arenas and Performance Metrics for Urban Search and Rescue Robots

Adam Jacoff, Elena Messina, Brian A. Weiss1, Satoshi Tadokoro2, and Yuki Nakagawa3

1. Intelligent Systems Division National Institute of Standards and Technology Gaithersburg, MD adam.jacoff@nist.gov

  2. Department of Computer Science and Systems Engineering Kobe University

    Kobe, Japan tadokoro@cs.kobe-u.ac.jp

3. Exhibition Development Group National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation

 Tokyo, Japan yuki@nkgw.com

ABSTRACT

In this paper, we discuss the development and proliferation of robot test arenas that provide tangible, realistic, and challenging environments for mobile robot researchers interested in urban search and rescue applications and other unstructured environments. These arenas allow direct comparison of robotic approaches, objective performance evaluation, and can ultimately provide a proving ground for field-able robotic systems such as those used at the World Trade Center collapse. International robot competitions using these arenas require robots to negotiate complex and collapsed structures, find simulated victims, and generate human readable maps of the environment. A performance metric is presented which quantifies several pertinent robot capabilities and produces an overall score used to evaluate and compare robotic implementations. Future directions for the arenas and the competitions are also discussed.

KEYWORDS:

autonomous mobile robots, urban search and rescue, sensory perception, knowledge representation, planning, mapping, collaboration, performance metrics.

1.0 INTRODUCTION

   Reproducible and widely known challenges can help evolving fields by providing reference problems with measures of performance which allow researchers to compare implementations, communicate results, and leverage each other's work. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) developed the Reference Test Arenas for Autonomous Mobile Robots to focus research efforts, provide direction, and accelerate the advancement of mobile robot capabilities. These arenas, modeled from buildings in various stages of collapse, allow objective performance evaluation of robots as they perform a variety of urban search and rescue (USAR) tasks [Jacoff et al., 2000]. Robots explore the maze-like test course, negotiate obstacles, find simulated victims, and generate human readable maps of

the environment. The NIST arenas have hosted the Rescue Robot Competitions at the American Association for Artificial Intelligence (AAAI) and the International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence (IJCAI) meetings since 2000. They are available year round to researchers in an effort to raise awareness of the challenges involved in search and rescue applications and provide a venue for collaboration.

   Last year, Japan's National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation (MeSci) replicated the arenas to host the RoboCup Rescue Robot League competition at RoboCup2002 in Fukuoka, Ja...