A Reference Test Course for Urban Search and Rescue Robots

Adam Jacoff, Elena Messina, and John Evans, National Institute of Standards and Technology, USA

One approach to measuring the performance of intelligent systems is to develop standardized or reproducible tests. These tests may be in a simulated environment or in a physical test course. The National Institute of Standards and Technology has developed a test course for evaluating the performance of mobile autonomous robots operating in an urban search and rescue mission. The test course is designed to simulate a collapsed building structure at various levels of fidelity. The course will be used in robotic competitions, such as the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI) Mobile Robot Competition and the RoboCup Rescue. Designed to be highly reconfigurable and to accommodate a variety of sensing and navigation capabilities, this course may serve as a prototype for further development of performance testing environments. The design of the test course brings to light several challenges in evaluating performance of intelligent systems, such as the distinction between mind and body and the accommodation of high-level interactions between the robot and humans. We discuss the design criteria for the test course and the evaluation methods that will be used.


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