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Article
Publication date: 28 August 2007

Zhelong Wang and Hong Gu

This study aims to investigate locomotion mechanisms of different urban search and rescue (USAR) robots currently being researched or commercially available on the market.

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to investigate locomotion mechanisms of different urban search and rescue (USAR) robots currently being researched or commercially available on the market.

Design/methodology/approach

USAR robots are categorized by the type of their mobility. Detailed illustration and analysis have been given for each USAR robot in the paper.

Findings

The paper finds that none of current USAR robots can practically and autonomously carry out rescue work in a complex and unstructured environment. Hence, responding to the practical requirements of highly challenging USAR tasks, a team of USAR robots based on different locomotion mechanisms may be a good solution to undertake rescue activities.

Research limitations/implications

The paper provides guidance in the design of future USAR robots.

Originality/value

The paper investigates locomotion mechanisms of different USAR robots in detail.

Details

Industrial Robot: An International Journal, vol. 34 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-991X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 16 October 2018

Joanne Pransky

This paper is a “Q&A interview” conducted by Joanne Pransky of Industrial Robot Journal as a method to impart the combined technological, business and personal experience…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper is a “Q&A interview” conducted by Joanne Pransky of Industrial Robot Journal as a method to impart the combined technological, business and personal experience of a prominent, robotic industry engineer-turned successful innovator and leader regarding the challenges of bringing technological discoveries to fruition. This paper aims to discuss these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

The interviewee is Dr Robin R. Murphy, Raytheon Professor of Computer Science and Engineering, Texas A&M University; Co-lead, Emergency Informatics EDGE Innovation Network Center, Texas A&M, Director of the Humanitarian Robotics and AI Laboratory and Vice President of the Center for Robot-Assisted Search and Rescue (CRASAR) http://crasar.org. In this interview, Dr Murphy provides answers to questions regarding her pioneering experiences in rescue robotics.

Findings

As a child, Dr Murphy knew she wanted to be a mechanical engineer and obtained her BME degree from Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech). While working in industry after her BME, she fell in love with computer science and received an MS and PhD in Computer Science at Georgia Tech where she was a Rockwell International Doctoral Fellow. In the mid-1990s, while teaching at the Colorado School of Mines, she pioneered rescue robots after one of her graduate students returned from the Oklahoma City bombing and suggested that small rescue robots should be developed for future disasters. The National Science Foundation awarded Murphy and her students the first grant for search-and-rescue robots. She has since assisted in responses at more than 20 worldwide disasters, including Hurricane Katrina, the Crandall Canyon Mine collapse, the Tohoku Tsunami and the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident.

Originality/value

The response to the World Trade Center attacks after September 11, 2001 by Dr Murphy’s team from the University of South Florida (the only academic institution), along with four other teams brought together by CRASAR, marked the first recorded use of a rescue robot at a disaster site. In addition to being a founder in the field of rescue robots, she is also a founder in the field of human–robot interaction and the Roboticists Without Borders. She has written over 100 publications and three books: the best-selling textbook, Introduction to AI Robotics, Disaster Robotics and Robotics-Through-Science-Fiction: Artificial Intelligence Explained Six Classic Robot Short Stories. Dr Murphy has received approximately 20 national awards and honors including: the AUVSI’s Al Aube Outstanding Contributor Award, the Eugene L. Lawler Award for Humanitarian Contributions within Computer Science and Informatics, CMU Field Robotics Institute “Pioneer in Field Robotics” and TIME Magazine, Innovators in Artificial Intelligence. She is an IEEE Fellow.

Details

Industrial Robot: An International Journal, vol. 45 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-991X

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Article
Publication date: 19 June 2009

Luca Rimassa, Matteo Zoppi and Rezia Molfino

The purpose of this paper is to present new locomotion and steering modules conceived and designed for rescue serpentine robots with enhanced climbing ability. The…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present new locomotion and steering modules conceived and designed for rescue serpentine robots with enhanced climbing ability. The locomotion modules apply sock locomotion technology that allows great motion efficiency in rubble and confined environment due to the very high propulsion ratio. The steering joints guarantee good orientation dexterity by exploiting actuation based on smart materials.

Design/methodology/approach

Great attention and time is dedicated to the design phase, digital mock‐upping and virtual comparative assessment of different solutions. Mechatronic interdisciplinary design methodology including mechanisms analysis, sensory actuation issues and functional materials characterization, control and communication integration has been adopted.

Findings

The locomotion modules are revised and updated versions improving climbing ability of the socked locomotion module originally proposed by the authors. New steering modules with high orientation workspace, based on smart actuation, are introduced.

Research limitations/implications

The evaluation of the findings on the field is planned but no experimental result is today available.

Practical implications

Agile serpentine robots are requested for quick and safe rescue and special risky interventions in environments where dense vegetation, rubble and confined spaces prevent human presence. These robots offer invaluable potential help in such risky interventions mainly by being agile in exploring the environment, robust, low cost, reliable, and tele‐operated.

Originality/value

The paper presents original issues in terms of concept and design of instrumental (locomotion and steering) modules for composing modular rescue robots with very high locomotion agility and climbing performances.

Details

Industrial Robot: An International Journal, vol. 36 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-991X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 10 October 2017

Hilary Hughes, Rike Wolf and Marcus Foth

The purpose of this paper is to explore social living labs as a participatory methodology and context for fostering digital literacy and community well-being. This…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore social living labs as a participatory methodology and context for fostering digital literacy and community well-being. This approach is examined through a case study of Food Rescue Townsville, a voluntary community organisation in North Queensland, Australia.

Design/methodology/approach

Using qualitative case study methodology, the research investigated volunteers’ experience of a social living lab where they selected, installed and used open source Food Rescue Robot software.

Findings

The social living lab enhanced volunteers’ digital literacy and the organisation’s efficiency. The participatory nature and transformative intentions of social living labs are similar to action research as both promote social change through collaboration.

Research limitations/implications

The case study intentionally focuses on one community organisation to gain in-depth insights of a real-life social living lab.

Practical implications

The paper models an innovative approach that contributes to community learning and well-being. It presents a social living labs framework for digital literacy development that is underpinned by participatory action research cycle and integrates informed learning principles. Social living labs provide a learning context and approach that extends beyond digital skills instruction to a holistic process of using information to learn. They enable individuals to participate as digital citizens in the creation, curation and use of digital information.

Social implications

Informed digital learning through social living labs addresses the digital divide by fostering digital participation, volunteering and community engagement.

Originality/value

The paper is of interest to researchers, information literacy educators and community groups. Theoretical insights and participatory practices of the Food Rescue Townsville case, and the proposed social living labs framework are transferable to other communities.

Details

Information and Learning Science, vol. 118 no. 9/10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2398-5348

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Article
Publication date: 23 August 2011

Nima Enayati and Farid Najafi

The paper aims to describe the design and manufacturing process of a tele‐operative urban search and rescue tracked robot and discuss the advantages of a proposed novel…

Abstract

Purpose

The paper aims to describe the design and manufacturing process of a tele‐operative urban search and rescue tracked robot and discuss the advantages of a proposed novel track arrangement and other additional mechanisms, which help the robot to gain high manoeuverability on rough terrains.

Design/methodology/approach

Using a simplified static model, required torques are calculated and appropriate mechanisms and geometric dimensions are chosen. Next, stress distribution is analyzed in the parts, deploying both classic and numerical methods and to complete the procedure parts are fabricated and assembled together. The architecture of control system and the user interface is introduced. Finally, the robot is tested on a standard test arena and the results are compared with another similar search robot.

Findings

A tele‐operated rescue robot with considerable capabilities is designed and manufactured. The novel track arrangement and new rear arm's mechanism are tested and compared with a robot in the same class and higher performance is achieved on the evaluation.

Originality/value

Although the implemented locomotion mechanism is the common tracked type, adding the center tracks and arrangement of arms are original ideas which help the robot to gain high manoeuverability. The proposed rear arm's linkage mechanism generates a limited rotational path and has an acceptable strength for a robot working in rescue missions.

Details

Industrial Robot: An International Journal, vol. 38 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-991X

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 17 August 2012

Maki K. Habib and Yvan Baudoin

Abstract

Details

Industrial Robot: An International Journal, vol. 39 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-991X

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Article
Publication date: 2 May 2008

Rezia Molfino, Matteo Zoppi and Luca Rimassa

The purpose of this paper is to present a cost‐effective design for a new rescue robot locomotion module using the principle of a continuous sliding membrane to achieve…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present a cost‐effective design for a new rescue robot locomotion module using the principle of a continuous sliding membrane to achieve propulsion ratio (PR) near 1. Such high PR cannot be reached by other locomotion mechanisms that have been proposed.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper first introduces the PR as a reference parameter to assess locomotion effectiveness of snake‐ and worm‐like robots. The state‐of‐the‐art is reviewed. A direction to step beyond getting PR near 1 is indicated. The way is by realizing a continuous sliding membrane. Two solutions in this direction which have been recently proposed are recalled. It is shown that none of them can be practically implemented to realize functioning systems with today's available technology. A new design with membrane actuation has been identified and it is described in detail. A prototype has been realized and earliest results and evidence of functioning described.

Findings

Critical discussion of the concept of locomotion based on a sliding membrane was conducted. A new design for a robot locomotion module applying this concept was presented. Earliest evidence of functioning and effectiveness of the new system proposed was given.

Research limitations/implications

A new locomotion principle is shown. The state‐of‐the‐art background is discussed. A design to realize the new system in a cost‐effective way is described. The research implications lie in the future development of new mobile robots with higher locomotion capability than today's available systems. Several future research and development directions are shown.

Practical implications

A new generation of more locomotion‐effective snake‐ and worm‐robots, especially for rescue application in rubble, is foreseen. The design proposed takes cost‐effectiveness and practical realizability into account.

Originality/value

The continuous sliding membrane concept had been already proposed but no reasonable realization and actuation solutions had been singled out. The design of the new locomotion system is totally new and contains several breakthrough ideas. A prototype is available proving worthy in concept and functioning. It is cost‐effective and this will allow shorter application to real robots.

Details

Industrial Robot: An International Journal, vol. 35 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-991X

Keywords

Content available

Abstract

Details

Industrial Robot: An International Journal, vol. 29 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-991X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 23 August 2011

Jie Zhao, Zhenfeng Han and Gangfeng Liu

There is explosive gas in many disaster environments. The conventional search and rescue robots are not allowed to work in these environments, since they may cause…

Abstract

Purpose

There is explosive gas in many disaster environments. The conventional search and rescue robots are not allowed to work in these environments, since they may cause explosion. The purpose of this paper is to describe the design and development of the serpentine omnitread robot HITSR‐I for working in these areas.

Design/methodology/approach

HITSR‐I consists of four segments, and each segment is equipped with crawlers in the four directions. It can be operated even under the situation of sideslip without any recovering actions. There are pressed CO2 containers and the pressurized control system inside the robot, and the shells of the robot are a fully sealed up structure. They can maintain the inside pressure higher than the outside. The robot can release the communication relay node to extend the communicating area, so it can search a large area even amid rubble.

Findings

HITSR‐I was developed with the capability of climbing over 400 mm high obstacles. The maximum travel distance was 315 m. The pressurized system could enable the robot to work in Zones 1 and 2.

Originality/value

Design and development of a serpentine robot which can work in hazardous areas containing explosive gas. It can travel for a long distance in ruins by releasing the communication relay nodes.

Details

Industrial Robot: An International Journal, vol. 38 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-991X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 26 April 2013

Marc Neumann, Thomas Predki, Leif Heckes and Patrick Labenda

After a building collapse, people buried alive have to be localized and rescued. This requires the damage site's inspection and surveillance. These tasks are dangerous and…

Abstract

Purpose

After a building collapse, people buried alive have to be localized and rescued. This requires the damage site's inspection and surveillance. These tasks are dangerous and challenging due to the area's hard‐to‐reach and hazardous environment. The damage site cannot be actively entered but must be inspected from a safe distance. In this context, mobile robots gain in importance as they can be operated semi‐autonomously or remote‐controlled without exposing the first responders to the risk. The purpose of this paper is to introduce a novel robot.

Design/methodology/approach

The novel robot introduced in this paper has a snake‐like build‐up, uses tracks and active flippers for locomotion and negotiates completely structured as well as extremely unstructured and rough terrain. The system's slender, segmented and modular structure is actively articulated by the use of overall 30 degrees‐of‐freedom, which allow the robot's flexible adaptation to a given terrain. System‐terrain‐interaction is detected by the use of an innovative, RFID‐based sensory integrated in the system's tracks.

Findings

The paper presents the mobile robot's basic features, as well as first experimental results for semi‐autonomy and tele‐operation.

Originality/value

The introduced robot stands out due to its high locomotion and mobility capabilities.

Details

Industrial Robot: An International Journal, vol. 40 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-991X

Keywords

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