Dynamic-Autonomy for Urban Search and Rescue

David J. Bruemmer, Donald D. Dudenhoeffer, and Julie L. Marble

At the 2002 AAAI Robotics Competition and Exhibition, the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory (INEEL) demonstrated a robot that can adjust its level of autonomy on the fly, leveraging its own, intrinsic intelligence to meet whatever level of control was handed down from the user. The robot had the ability to actively protect itself and the environment as it navigated through the USAR environment. In addition, the robot continuously assessed and adapted to changes in its own perceptual capabilities. The INEEL also demonstrated an interface for supporting mixed-initiative interaction between the operator and human. The interface displays an abstracted representation of the robot’s experience and exploits sensor-suites and fusion algorithms that enhance capabilities for sensing, interpreting, and "understanding" environmental features. This paper reports on the current robotic system including hardware, sensor suite, control architecture, and interface system.

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