Rescue Robot League

Announcements

Call for Participation
----------------------

RoboCup Rescue Competition 2010

June 19 - June 25, 2010 (Singapore)
http://www.robocup2010.org/
http://robotarenas.nist.gov/competitions.htm

The pre-registration for the RoboCup Rescue World Championship in
Singapore is open! Please check the NIST web site [1] for the most
current information.

Here the important dates of the registration process for the Rescue
Robot League:

* January 30, 2010: Submit (the very short) Team
 Participation Form [2] to rescue.robot.league@nist.gov
* February 13, 2010: Submit your Team Description Paper [3]
 to rescue.robot.league@nist.gov
* March 12, 2010: Announcement of Qualified Teams

A detailed description of the competition can be found at [4]. The
rules for the 2010 competition will be posted as soon as they are
available.

Regards
Johannes Pellenz (OC Rescue Robot League)

[1] http://robotarenas.nist.gov/2010/index.htm
[2] http://robotarenas.nist.gov/2010/Champ2010_(Country_TeamName)_TPF.doc
[3] http://robotarenas.nist.gov/2010/RCR2010_(Country_TeamName)_TDP.doc
[4] http://robotarenas.nist.gov/2009/RoboCupRescue_Robot_League_Overview_(2007-2008).pdf

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Background information about the competition
(from http://robotarenas.nist.gov/competitions.htm)

Competition Overview:
The goal of the urban search and rescue (USAR) robot competitions is
to increase awareness of the challenges involved in search and rescue
applications, provide objective evaluation of robotic implementations
in representative environments, and promote collaboration between
researchers.  It requires robots to demonstrate their capabilities in
mobility, sensory perception, planning, mapping, and practical
operator interfaces, while searching for simulated victims in
unstructured environments.  As robot teams begin demonstrating
repeated successes against the obstacles posed in the arenas, the
level of difficulty will be increased accordingly so that the arenas
provide a stepping-stone from the laboratory to the real world.
Meanwhile, the yearly competitions will provide direct comparison of
robotic approaches, objective performance evaluation, and a public
proving ground for field-able robotic systems that will ultimately be
used to save lives.
Competition Vision:

When disaster happens, minimize risk to search and rescue personnel,
while increasing victim survival rates, by fielding teams of
collaborative robots which can:
* Autonomously negotiate compromised and collapsed structures
* Find victims and ascertain their conditions
* Produce practical maps of their locations
* Deliver sustenance and communications
* Identify hazards
* Emplace sensors (acoustic, thermal, hazmat, seismic, etc,…)
* Provide structural shoring
allowing human rescuers to quickly locate and extract victims.

It is ideal for the robots to be capable of all the tasks outlined in
the vision, with the first three directly encouraged in the current
performance metric. The remaining tasks will be emphasized in future
versions of the performance metric.

Search Scenario:
A building has partially collapsed due to earthquake. The Incident
Commander in charge of rescue operations at the disaster site, fearing
secondary collapses from aftershocks, has asked for teams of robots to
immediately search the interior of the building for victims. The
mission for the robots and their operators is to find victims,
determine their situation, state, and location, and then report back
their findings in a map of the building and a victim data sheet. The
section near the building entrance appears relatively intact while the
interior of the structure exhibits increasing degrees of collapse.
Robots must negotiate the lightly damaged areas prior to encountering
more challenging obstacles and rubble. The robots are considered
expendable in case of difficulty.

Arenas and Simulated Victims:
The rescue arenas constructed to host these competitions are based on
the Reference Test Arenas for Urban Search and Rescue Robots developed
by the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).
Three arenas, named yellow, orange, and red to indicate their
increasing levels of difficulty, form a continuum of challenges for
the robots. A maze of walls, doors, and elevated floors provide
various tests for robot navigation and mapping capabilities.  Variable
flooring, overturned furniture, and problematic rubble provide obvious
physical obstacles. Sensory obstacles, intended to confuse specific
robot sensors and perception algorithms, provide additional
challenges. Intuitive operator interfaces and robust sensory fusion
algorithms are highly encouraged to reliably negotiate the arenas and
locate victims.

The objective for each robot in the competition, and the incentive to
traverse every corner of each arena, is to find simulated victims.
Each simulated victim is a clothed mannequin emitting body heat and
other signs of life, including motion (shifting, waving), sound
(moaning, yelling, tapping), and/or carbon dioxide to simulate
breathing.  Particular combinations of these sensor signatures imply
the victim’s state: unconscious, semi-conscious, or aware.

Simulated Victim Signs of Life:
Each victim is placed in a particular rescue situation: surface,
trapped, void, or entombed.  The victims are distributed throughout
the environment in roughly the same situational percentages found in
actual earthquake statistics. Each victim also displays an
identification tag that is usually placed in hard to reach areas
around the victim, requiring advanced robot mobility to identify. Once
a victim is found, the robot(s) must determine the victim’s location,
situation, state, and tag, and then report their findings on a human
readable map.
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