ICARUS

After the earthquakes in l’Aquila, Haiti and Japan, the European Commission confirmed that there exists a large discrepancy between (robotic) technology which is developed in laboratory and the use of such technology on the terrain for Search and Rescue (SAR) operations and crisis management.

Thus, the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Enterprise and Industry decided to fund ICARUS, a Research project (global budget: 17.5M€) which aims to develop robotic tools which can assist “human” crisis intervention teams.

The introduction of unmanned Search and Rescue devices can offer a valuable tool to save human lives and to speed up the SAR process. ICARUS concentrates on the development of unmanned SAR technologies for detecting, locating and rescuing humans.

There is a vast literature on research efforts towards the development of unmanned Search and Rescue tools. However this research effort stands in contrast to the practical reality in the field, where unmanned search and rescue tools have great difficulty finding their way to the end-users.

The ICARUS project addresses these issues, aiming to bridge the gap between the Research community and end-users, by developing a toolbox of integrated components for unmanned Search and Rescue. . The ICARUS tools consist of assistive unmanned air, ground and sea vehicles, equipped with victim detection sensors. The unmanned vehicles collaborate as a coordinated team, communicating via ad-hoc cognitive radio networking. To ensure optimal human-robot collaboration, these tools are seamlessly integrated into the C4I (command, control, communications, computers, and intelligence) equipment of the human crisis managers and a set of training and support tools is provided to them to learn to use the ICARUS system.

European Commission

7th Framework Programme

2012 – 2016

17.5 M€

Project Video Gallery

Land Demonstration
Maritime Demonstration
Overview (legacy) video

Project Publications

2020

  • H. Balta, J. Velagic, H. Beglerovic, G. De Cubber, and B. Siciliano, “3D Registration and Integrated Segmentation Framework for Heterogeneous Unmanned Robotic Systems," Remote Sensing, vol. 12, iss. 10, p. 1608, 2020.
    [BibTeX] [Abstract] [Download PDF] [DOI]

    The paper proposes a novel framework for registering and segmenting 3D point clouds of large-scale natural terrain and complex environments coming from a multisensor heterogeneous robotics system, consisting of unmanned aerial and ground vehicles. This framework involves data acquisition and pre-processing, 3D heterogeneous registration and integrated multi-sensor based segmentation modules. The first module provides robust and accurate homogeneous registrations of 3D environmental models based on sensors’ measurements acquired from the ground (UGV) and aerial (UAV) robots. For 3D UGV registration, we proposed a novel local minima escape ICP (LME-ICP) method, which is based on the well known iterative closest point (ICP) algorithm extending it by the introduction of our local minima estimation and local minima escape mechanisms. It did not require any prior known pose estimation information acquired from sensing systems like odometry, global positioning system (GPS), or inertial measurement units (IMU). The 3D UAV registration has been performed using the Structure from Motion (SfM) approach. In order to improve and speed up the process of outliers removal for large-scale outdoor environments, we introduced the Fast Cluster Statistical Outlier Removal (FCSOR) method. This method was used to filter out the noise and to downsample the input data, which will spare computational and memory resources for further processing steps. Then, we co-registered a point cloud acquired from a laser ranger (UGV) and a point cloud generated from images (UAV) generated by the SfM method. The 3D heterogeneous module consists of a semi-automated 3D scan registration system, developed with the aim to overcome the shortcomings of the existing fully automated 3D registration approaches. This semi-automated registration system is based on the novel Scale Invariant Registration Method (SIRM). The SIRM provides the initial scaling between two heterogenous point clouds and provides an adaptive mechanism for tuning the mean scale, based on the difference between two consecutive estimated point clouds’ alignment error values. Once aligned, the resulting homogeneous ground-aerial point cloud is further processed by a segmentation module. For this purpose, we have proposed a system for integrated multi-sensor based segmentation of 3D point clouds. This system followed a two steps sequence: ground-object segmentation and color-based region-growing segmentation. The experimental validation of the proposed 3D heterogeneous registration and integrated segmentation framework was performed on large-scale datasets representing unstructured outdoor environments, demonstrating the potential and benefits of the proposed semi-automated 3D registration system in real-world environments.

    @Article{balta20203Dregistration,
    author = {Balta, Haris and Velagic, Jasmin and Beglerovic, Halil and De Cubber, Geert and Siciliano, Bruno},
    journal = {Remote Sensing},
    title = {3D Registration and Integrated Segmentation Framework for Heterogeneous Unmanned Robotic Systems},
    year = {2020},
    month = may,
    number = {10},
    pages = {1608},
    volume = {12},
    abstract = {The paper proposes a novel framework for registering and segmenting 3D point clouds of large-scale natural terrain and complex environments coming from a multisensor heterogeneous robotics system, consisting of unmanned aerial and ground vehicles. This framework involves data acquisition and pre-processing, 3D heterogeneous registration and integrated multi-sensor based segmentation modules. The first module provides robust and accurate homogeneous registrations of 3D environmental models based on sensors’ measurements acquired from the ground (UGV) and aerial (UAV) robots. For 3D UGV registration, we proposed a novel local minima escape ICP (LME-ICP) method, which is based on the well known iterative closest point (ICP) algorithm extending it by the introduction of our local minima estimation and local minima escape mechanisms. It did not require any prior known pose estimation information acquired from sensing systems like odometry, global positioning system (GPS), or inertial measurement units (IMU). The 3D UAV registration has been performed using the Structure from Motion (SfM) approach. In order to improve and speed up the process of outliers removal for large-scale outdoor environments, we introduced the Fast Cluster Statistical Outlier Removal (FCSOR) method. This method was used to filter out the noise and to downsample the input data, which will spare computational and memory resources for further processing steps. Then, we co-registered a point cloud acquired from a laser ranger (UGV) and a point cloud generated from images (UAV) generated by the SfM method. The 3D heterogeneous module consists of a semi-automated 3D scan registration system, developed with the aim to overcome the shortcomings of the existing fully automated 3D registration approaches. This semi-automated registration system is based on the novel Scale Invariant Registration Method (SIRM). The SIRM provides the initial scaling between two heterogenous point clouds and provides an adaptive mechanism for tuning the mean scale, based on the difference between two consecutive estimated point clouds’ alignment error values. Once aligned, the resulting homogeneous ground-aerial point cloud is further processed by a segmentation module. For this purpose, we have proposed a system for integrated multi-sensor based segmentation of 3D point clouds. This system followed a two steps sequence: ground-object segmentation and color-based region-growing segmentation. The experimental validation of the proposed 3D heterogeneous registration and integrated segmentation framework was performed on large-scale datasets representing unstructured outdoor environments, demonstrating the potential and benefits of the proposed semi-automated 3D registration system in real-world environments.},
    doi = {10.3390/rs12101608},
    project = {NRTP,ICARUS,TIRAMISU,MarSur},
    publisher = {MDPI},
    url = {https://www.mdpi.com/2072-4292/12/10/1608/pdf},
    }

  • A. Kakogawa, S. Ma, B. Ristic, C. Gilliam, A. K. Kamath, V. K. Tripathi, L. Behera, A. Ferrein, I. Scholl, T. Neumann, K. Krückel, S. Schiffer, A. Joukhadar, M. Alchehabi, and A. Jejeh, Unmanned Robotic Systems and Applications, M. Reyhanoglu and G. De Cubber, Eds., InTech, 2020.
    [BibTeX] [Abstract] [Download PDF] [DOI]

    This book presents recent studies of unmanned robotic systems and their applications. With its five chapters, the book brings together important contributions from renowned international researchers. Unmanned autonomous robots are ideal candidates for applications such as rescue missions, especially in areas that are difficult to access. Swarm robotics (multiple robots working together) is another exciting application of the unmanned robotics systems, for example, coordinated search by an interconnected group of moving robots for the purpose of finding a source of hazardous emissions. These robots can behave like individuals working in a group without a centralized control.

    @Book{de2020unmanned,
    author = {Atsushi Kakogawa and Shugen Ma and Branko Ristic and Christopher Gilliam and Archit Krishna Kamath and Vibhu Kumar Tripathi and Laxmidhar Behera and Alexander Ferrein and Ingrid Scholl and Tobias Neumann and Kai Krückel and Stefan Schiffer and Abdulkader Joukhadar and Mohammad Alchehabi and Adnan Jejeh},
    editor = {Reyhanoglu, Mahmut and De Cubber, Geert},
    publisher = {{InTech}},
    title = {Unmanned Robotic Systems and Applications},
    year = {2020},
    month = apr,
    abstract = {This book presents recent studies of unmanned robotic systems and their applications. With its five chapters, the book brings together important contributions from renowned international researchers. Unmanned autonomous robots are ideal candidates for applications such as rescue missions, especially in areas that are difficult to access. Swarm robotics (multiple robots working together) is another exciting application of the unmanned robotics systems, for example, coordinated search by an interconnected group of moving robots for the purpose of finding a source of hazardous emissions. These robots can behave like individuals working in a group without a centralized control.},
    doi = {10.5772/intechopen.88414},
    project = {NRTP,ICARUS,MarSur},
    url = {https://www.intechopen.com/books/unmanned-robotic-systems-and-applications},
    }

2019

  • N. Nauwynck, H. Balta, G. De Cubber, and H. Sahli, “A proof of concept of the in-flight launch of unmanned aerial vehicles in a search and rescue scenario," ACTA IMEKO, vol. 8, iss. 4, p. 13–19, 2019.
    [BibTeX] [Abstract] [Download PDF] [DOI]

    This article considers the development of a system to enable the in-flight-launch of one aerial system by another. The article discusses how an optimal release mechanism was developed taking into account the aerodynamics of one specific mothership and child Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV). Furthermore, it discusses the PID-based control concept that was introduced in order to autonomously stabilise the child UAV after being released from the mothership UAV. Finally, the article demonstrates how the concept of a mothership and child UAV combination could be taken advantage of in the context of a search and rescue operation.

    @Article{nauwynck2019proof,
    author = {Nauwynck, Niels and Balta, Haris and De Cubber, Geert and Sahli, Hichem},
    journal = {{ACTA} {IMEKO}},
    title = {A proof of concept of the in-flight launch of unmanned aerial vehicles in a search and rescue scenario},
    year = {2019},
    month = dec,
    number = {4},
    pages = {13--19},
    volume = {8},
    abstract = {This article considers the development of a system to enable the in-flight-launch of one aerial system by another. The article discusses how an optimal release mechanism was developed taking into account the aerodynamics of one specific mothership and child Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV). Furthermore, it discusses the PID-based control concept that was introduced in order to autonomously stabilise the child UAV after being released from the mothership UAV. Finally, the article demonstrates how the concept of a mothership and child UAV combination could be taken advantage of in the context of a search and rescue operation.},
    doi = {10.21014/acta_imeko.v8i4.681},
    publisher = {{IMEKO} International Measurement Confederation},
    project = {ICARUS, NRTP},
    url = {https://acta.imeko.org/index.php/acta-imeko/article/view/IMEKO-ACTA-08 (2019)-04-04},
    }

2018

  • G. De Cubber, “Legal Issues in Search and Rescue UAV operations," in IROS2018 forum on Legal Issues, Cybersecurity and Policymakers Implication in AI Robotics, Madrid, Spain, 2018.
    [BibTeX]
    @InProceedings{de2018legal,
    author = {De Cubber, Geert},
    booktitle = {IROS2018 forum on Legal Issues, Cybersecurity and Policymakers Implication in AI Robotics},
    title = {Legal Issues in Search and Rescue {UAV} operations},
    year = {2018},
    address = {Madrid, Spain},
    project = {ICARUS},
    }

2017

  • D. S. López, G. Moreno, J. Cordero, J. Sanchez, S. Govindaraj, M. M. Marques, V. Lobo, S. Fioravanti, A. Grati, K. Rudin, M. Tosa, A. Matos, A. Dias, A. Martins, J. Bedkowski, H. Balta, and G. De Cubber, “Interoperability in a Heterogeneous Team of Search and Rescue Robots," in Search and Rescue Robotics – From Theory to Practice, G. De Cubber and D. Doroftei, Eds., InTech, 2017.
    [BibTeX] [Abstract] [Download PDF] [DOI]

    Search and rescue missions are complex operations. A disaster scenario is generally unstructured, time‐varying and unpredictable. This poses several challenges for the successful deployment of unmanned technology. The variety of operational scenarios and tasks lead to the need for multiple robots of different types, domains and sizes. A priori planning of the optimal set of assets to be deployed and the definition of their mission objectives are generally not feasible as information only becomes available during mission. The ICARUS project responds to this challenge by developing a heterogeneous team composed by different and complementary robots, dynamically cooperating as an interoperable team. This chapter describes our approach to multi‐robot interoperability, understood as the ability of multiple robots to operate together, in synergy, enabling multiple teams to share data, intelligence and resources, which is the ultimate objective of ICARUS project. It also includes the analysis of the relevant standardization initiatives in multi‐robot multi‐domain systems, our implementation of an interoperability framework and several examples of multi‐robot cooperation of the ICARUS robots in realistic search and rescue missions.

    @InBook{lopez2017interoperability,
    author = {Daniel Serrano L{\'{o}}pez and German Moreno and Jose Cordero and Jose Sanchez and Shashank Govindaraj and Mario Monteiro Marques and Victor Lobo and Stefano Fioravanti and Alberto Grati and Konrad Rudin and Massimo Tosa and Anibal Matos and Andre Dias and Alfredo Martins and Janusz Bedkowski and Haris Balta and De Cubber, Geert},
    editor = {De Cubber, Geert and Doroftei, Daniela},
    chapter = {Chapter 6},
    publisher = {{InTech}},
    title = {Interoperability in a Heterogeneous Team of Search and Rescue Robots},
    year = {2017},
    month = aug,
    abstract = {Search and rescue missions are complex operations. A disaster scenario is generally unstructured, time‐varying and unpredictable. This poses several challenges for the successful deployment of unmanned technology. The variety of operational scenarios and tasks lead to the need for multiple robots of different types, domains and sizes. A priori planning of the optimal set of assets to be deployed and the definition of their mission objectives are generally not feasible as information only becomes available during mission. The ICARUS project responds to this challenge by developing a heterogeneous team composed by different and complementary robots, dynamically cooperating as an interoperable team. This chapter describes our approach to multi‐robot interoperability, understood as the ability of multiple robots to operate together, in synergy, enabling multiple teams to share data, intelligence and resources, which is the ultimate objective of ICARUS project. It also includes the analysis of the relevant standardization initiatives in multi‐robot multi‐domain systems, our implementation of an interoperability framework and several examples of multi‐robot cooperation of the ICARUS robots in realistic search and rescue missions.},
    booktitle = {Search and Rescue Robotics - From Theory to Practice},
    doi = {10.5772/intechopen.69493},
    project = {ICARUS},
    url = {https://www.intechopen.com/books/search-and-rescue-robotics-from-theory-to-practice/interoperability-in-a-heterogeneous-team-of-search-and-rescue-robots},
    }

  • G. De Cubber, D. Doroftei, H. Balta, A. Matos, E. Silva, D. Serrano, S. Govindaraj, R. Roda, V. Lobo, M. Marques, and R. Wagemans, “Operational Validation of Search and Rescue Robots," in Search and Rescue Robotics – From Theory to Practice, G. De Cubber and D. Doroftei, Eds., InTech, 2017.
    [BibTeX] [Abstract] [Download PDF] [DOI]

    This chapter describes how the different ICARUS unmanned search and rescue tools have been evaluated and validated using operational benchmarking techniques. Two large‐scale simulated disaster scenarios were organized: a simulated shipwreck and an earthquake response scenario. Next to these simulated response scenarios, where ICARUS tools were deployed in tight interaction with real end users, ICARUS tools also participated to a real relief, embedded in a team of end users for a flood response mission. These validation trials allow us to conclude that the ICARUS tools fulfil the user requirements and goals set up at the beginning of the project.

    @InBook{de2017operational,
    author = {De Cubber, Geert and Daniela Doroftei and Haris Balta and Anibal Matos and Eduardo Silva and Daniel Serrano and Shashank Govindaraj and Rui Roda and Victor Lobo and M{\'{a}}rio Marques and Rene Wagemans},
    editor = {De Cubber, Geert and Doroftei, Daniela},
    chapter = {Chapter 10},
    publisher = {{InTech}},
    title = {Operational Validation of Search and Rescue Robots},
    year = {2017},
    month = aug,
    abstract = {This chapter describes how the different ICARUS unmanned search and rescue tools have been evaluated and validated using operational benchmarking techniques. Two large‐scale simulated disaster scenarios were organized: a simulated shipwreck and an earthquake response scenario. Next to these simulated response scenarios, where ICARUS tools were deployed in tight interaction with real end users, ICARUS tools also participated to a real relief, embedded in a team of end users for a flood response mission. These validation trials allow us to conclude that the ICARUS tools fulfil the user requirements and goals set up at the beginning of the project.},
    booktitle = {Search and Rescue Robotics - From Theory to Practice},
    doi = {10.5772/intechopen.69497},
    journal = {Search and Rescue Robotics: From Theory to Practice},
    project = {ICARUS},
    url = {https://www.intechopen.com/books/search-and-rescue-robotics-from-theory-to-practice/operational-validation-of-search-and-rescue-robots},
    }

  • K. Berns, A. Nezhadfard, M. Tosa, H. Balta, and G. De Cubber, “Unmanned Ground Robots for Rescue Tasks," in Search and Rescue Robotics – From Theory to Practice, G. De Cubber and D. Doroftei, Eds., InTech, 2017.
    [BibTeX] [Abstract] [Download PDF] [DOI]

    This chapter describes two unmanned ground vehicles that can help search and rescue teams in their difficult, but life-saving tasks. These robotic assets have been developed within the framework of the European project ICARUS. The large unmanned ground vehicle is intended to be a mobile base station. It is equipped with a powerful manipulator arm and can be used for debris removal, shoring operations, and remote structural operations (cutting, welding, hammering, etc.) on very rough terrain. The smaller unmanned ground vehicle is also equipped with an array of sensors, enabling it to search for victims inside semi-destroyed buildings. Working together with each other and the human search and rescue workers, these robotic assets form a powerful team, increasing the effectiveness of search and rescue operations, as proven by operational validation tests in collaboration with end users.

    @InBook{berns2017unmanned,
    author = {Karsten Berns and Atabak Nezhadfard and Massimo Tosa and Haris Balta and De Cubber, Geert},
    editor = {De Cubber, Geert and Doroftei, Daniela},
    chapter = {Chapter 4},
    publisher = {{InTech}},
    title = {Unmanned Ground Robots for Rescue Tasks},
    year = {2017},
    month = aug,
    abstract = {This chapter describes two unmanned ground vehicles that can help search and rescue teams in their difficult, but life-saving tasks. These robotic assets have been developed within the framework of the European project ICARUS. The large unmanned ground vehicle is intended to be a mobile base station. It is equipped with a powerful manipulator arm and can be used for debris removal, shoring operations, and remote structural operations (cutting, welding, hammering, etc.) on very rough terrain. The smaller unmanned ground vehicle is also equipped with an array of sensors, enabling it to search for victims inside semi-destroyed buildings. Working together with each other and the human search and rescue workers, these robotic assets form a powerful team, increasing the effectiveness of search and rescue operations, as proven by operational validation tests in collaboration with end users.},
    booktitle = {Search and Rescue Robotics - From Theory to Practice},
    doi = {10.5772/intechopen.69491},
    project = {ICARUS},
    url = {https://www.intechopen.com/books/search-and-rescue-robotics-from-theory-to-practice/unmanned-ground-robots-for-rescue-tasks},
    }

  • D. Doroftei, G. De Cubber, R. Wagemans, A. Matos, E. Silva, V. Lobo, K. C. Guerreiro Cardoso, S. Govindaraj, J. Gancet, and D. Serrano, “User-centered design," , G. De Cubber and D. Doroftei, Eds., InTech, 2017, p. 19–36.
    [BibTeX] [Abstract] [Download PDF] [DOI]

    The successful introduction and acceptance of novel technological tools are only possible if end users are completely integrated in the design process. However, obtaining such integration of end users is not obvious, as end‐user organizations often do not consider research toward new technological aids as their core business and are therefore reluctant to engage in these kinds of activities. This chapter explains how this problem was tackled in the ICARUS project, by carefully identifying and approaching the targeted user communities and by compiling user requirements. Resulting from these user requirements, system requirements and a system architecture for the ICARUS system were deduced. An important aspect of the user‐centered design approach is that it is an iterative methodology, based on multiple intermediate operational validations by end users of the developed tools, leading to a final validation according to user‐scripted validation scenarios.

    @InBook{doroftei2017user,
    author = {Doroftei, Daniela and De Cubber, Geert and Wagemans, Rene and Matos, Anibal and Silva, Eduardo and Lobo, Victor and Guerreiro Cardoso, Keshav Chintamani and Govindaraj, Shashank and Gancet, Jeremi and Serrano, Daniel},
    editor = {De Cubber, Geert and Doroftei, Daniela},
    chapter = {Chapter 2},
    pages = {19--36},
    publisher = {{InTech}},
    title = {User-centered design},
    year = {2017},
    abstract = {The successful introduction and acceptance of novel technological tools are only possible if end users are completely integrated in the design process. However, obtaining such integration of end users is not obvious, as end‐user organizations often do not consider research toward new technological aids as their core business and are therefore reluctant to engage in these kinds of activities. This chapter explains how this problem was tackled in the ICARUS project, by carefully identifying and approaching the targeted user communities and by compiling user requirements. Resulting from these user requirements, system requirements and a system architecture for the ICARUS system were deduced. An important aspect of the user‐centered design approach is that it is an iterative methodology, based on multiple intermediate operational validations by end users of the developed tools, leading to a final validation according to user‐scripted validation scenarios.},
    doi = {10.5772/intechopen.69483},
    journal = {Search and rescue robotics. From theory to practice. IntechOpen, London},
    project = {ICARUS},
    url = {https://www.intechopen.com/books/search-and-rescue-robotics-from-theory-to-practice/user-centered-design},
    }

  • G. D. Cubber, D. Doroftei, K. Rudin, K. Berns, A. Matos, D. Serrano, J. Sanchez, S. Govindaraj, J. Bedkowski, R. Roda, E. Silva, and S. Ourevitch, “Introduction to the use of robotic tools for search and rescue," in Search and Rescue Robotics – From Theory to Practice, G. De Cubber and D. Doroftei, Eds., InTech, 2017.
    [BibTeX] [Abstract] [Download PDF] [DOI]

    Modern search and rescue workers are equipped with a powerful toolkit to address natural and man-made disasters. This introductory chapter explains how a new tool can be added to this toolkit: robots. The use of robotic assets in search and rescue operations is explained and an overview is given of the worldwide efforts to incorporate robotic tools in search and rescue operations. Furthermore, the European Union ICARUS project on this subject is introduced. The ICARUS project proposes to equip first responders with a comprehensive and integrated set of unmanned search and rescue tools, to increase the situational awareness of human crisis managers, such that more work can be done in a shorter amount of time. The ICARUS tools consist of assistive unmanned air, ground, and sea vehicles, equipped with victim-detection sensors. The unmanned vehicles collaborate as a coordinated team, communicating via ad hoc cognitive radio networking. To ensure optimal human-robot collaboration, these tools are seamlessly integrated into the command and control equipment of the human crisis managers and a set of training and support tools is provided to them to learn to use the ICARUS system.

    @InBook{cubber2017introduction,
    author = {Geert De Cubber and Daniela Doroftei and Konrad Rudin and Karsten Berns and Anibal Matos and Daniel Serrano and Jose Sanchez and Shashank Govindaraj and Janusz Bedkowski and Rui Roda and Eduardo Silva and Stephane Ourevitch},
    editor = {De Cubber, Geert and Doroftei, Daniela},
    chapter = {Chapter 1},
    publisher = {{InTech}},
    title = {Introduction to the use of robotic tools for search and rescue},
    year = {2017},
    month = aug,
    abstract = {Modern search and rescue workers are equipped with a powerful toolkit to address natural and man-made disasters. This introductory chapter explains how a new tool can be added to this toolkit: robots. The use of robotic assets in search and rescue operations is explained and an overview is given of the worldwide efforts to incorporate robotic tools in search and rescue operations. Furthermore, the European Union ICARUS project on this subject is introduced. The ICARUS project proposes to equip first responders with a comprehensive and integrated set of unmanned search and rescue tools, to increase the situational awareness of human crisis managers, such that more work can be done in a shorter amount of time. The ICARUS tools consist of assistive unmanned air, ground, and sea vehicles, equipped with victim-detection sensors. The unmanned vehicles collaborate as a coordinated team, communicating via ad hoc cognitive radio networking. To ensure optimal human-robot collaboration, these tools are seamlessly integrated into the command and control equipment of the human crisis managers and a set of training and support tools is provided to them to learn to use the ICARUS system.},
    booktitle = {Search and Rescue Robotics - From Theory to Practice},
    doi = {10.5772/intechopen.69489},
    project = {ICARUS},
    url = {https://www.intechopen.com/books/search-and-rescue-robotics-from-theory-to-practice/introduction-to-the-use-of-robotic-tools-for-search-and-rescue},
    }

  • G. D. Cubber, D. Doroftei, K. Rudin, K. Berns, A. Matos, D. Serrano, J. M. Sanchez, S. Govindaraj, J. Bedkowski, R. Roda, E. Silva, S. Ourevitch, R. Wagemans, V. Lobo, G. Cardoso, K. Chintamani, J. Gancet, P. Stupler, A. Nezhadfard, M. Tosa, H. Balta, J. Almeida, A. Martins, H. Ferreira, B. Ferreira, J. Alves, A. Dias, S. Fioravanti, D. Bertin, G. Moreno, J. Cordero, M. M. Marques, A. Grati, H. M. Chaudhary, B. Sheers, Y. Riobo, P. Letier, M. N. Jimenez, M. A. Esbri, P. Musialik, I. Badiola, R. Goncalves, A. Coelho, T. Pfister, K. Majek, M. Pelka, A. Maslowski, and R. Baptista, Search and Rescue Robotics – From Theory to Practice, G. De Cubber and D. Doroftei, Eds., InTech, 2017.
    [BibTeX] [Abstract] [Download PDF] [DOI]

    In the event of large crises (earthquakes, typhoons, floods, …), a primordial task of the fire and rescue services is the search for human survivors on the incident site. This is a complex and dangerous task, which – too often – leads to loss of lives among the human crisis managers themselves. This book explains how unmanned search can be added to the toolkit of the search and rescue workers, offering a valuable tool to save human lives and to speed up the search and rescue process. The introduction of robotic tools in the world of search and rescue is not straightforward, due to the fact that the search and rescue context is extremely technology-unfriendly, meaning that very robust solutions, which can be deployed extremely quickly, are required. Multiple research projects across the world are tackling this problem and in this book, a special focus is placed on showcasing the results of the European Union ICARUS project on this subject. The ICARUS project proposes to equip first responders with a comprehensive and integrated set of unmanned search and rescue tools, to increase the situational awareness of human crisis managers, so that more work can be done in a shorter amount of time. The ICARUS tools consist of assistive unmanned air, ground, and sea vehicles, equipped with victim-detection sensors. The unmanned vehicles collaborate as a coordinated team, communicating via ad hoc cognitive radio networking. To ensure optimal human-robot collaboration, these tools are seamlessly integrated into the command and control equipment of the human crisis managers and a set of training and support tools is provided to them in order to learn to use the ICARUS system.

    @Book{de2017search,
    author = {Geert De Cubber and Daniela Doroftei and Konrad Rudin and Karsten Berns and Anibal Matos and Daniel Serrano and Jose Manuel Sanchez and Shashank Govindaraj and Janusz Bedkowski and Rui Roda and Eduardo Silva and Stephane Ourevitch and Rene Wagemans and Victor Lobo and Guerreiro Cardoso and Keshav Chintamani and Jeremi Gancet and Pascal Stupler and Atabak Nezhadfard and Massimo Tosa and Haris Balta and Jose Almeida and Alfredo Martins and Hugo Ferreira and Bruno Ferreira and Jose Alves and Andre Dias and Stefano Fioravanti and Daniele Bertin and German Moreno and Jose Cordero and Mario Monteiro Marques and Alberto Grati and Hafeez M. Chaudhary and Bart Sheers and Yudani Riobo and Pierre Letier and Mario Nunez Jimenez and Miguel Angel Esbri and Pawel Musialik and Irune Badiola and Ricardo Goncalves and Antonio Coelho and Thomas Pfister and Karol Majek and Michal Pelka and Andrzej Maslowski and Ricardo Baptista},
    editor = {De Cubber, Geert and Doroftei, Daniela},
    publisher = {{InTech}},
    title = {Search and Rescue Robotics - From Theory to Practice},
    year = {2017},
    month = aug,
    abstract = {In the event of large crises (earthquakes, typhoons, floods, ...), a primordial task of the fire and rescue services is the search for human survivors on the incident site. This is a complex and dangerous task, which - too often - leads to loss of lives among the human crisis managers themselves. This book explains how unmanned search can be added to the toolkit of the search and rescue workers, offering a valuable tool to save human lives and to speed up the search and rescue process. The introduction of robotic tools in the world of search and rescue is not straightforward, due to the fact that the search and rescue context is extremely technology-unfriendly, meaning that very robust solutions, which can be deployed extremely quickly, are required. Multiple research projects across the world are tackling this problem and in this book, a special focus is placed on showcasing the results of the European Union ICARUS project on this subject. The ICARUS project proposes to equip first responders with a comprehensive and integrated set of unmanned search and rescue tools, to increase the situational awareness of human crisis managers, so that more work can be done in a shorter amount of time. The ICARUS tools consist of assistive unmanned air, ground, and sea vehicles, equipped with victim-detection sensors. The unmanned vehicles collaborate as a coordinated team, communicating via ad hoc cognitive radio networking. To ensure optimal human-robot collaboration, these tools are seamlessly integrated into the command and control equipment of the human crisis managers and a set of training and support tools is provided to them in order to learn to use the ICARUS system.},
    doi = {10.5772/intechopen.68449},
    project = {ICARUS},
    url = {https://www.intechopen.com/books/search-and-rescue-robotics-from-theory-to-practice},
    }

  • D. Lapandic, J. Velagic, and H. Balta, “Framework for automated reconstruction of 3D model from multiple 2D aerial images," in 2017 International Symposium ELMAR, Zadar, Croatia, 2017, pp. 173-176.
    [BibTeX] [Abstract] [Download PDF] [DOI]

    The paper considers a problem of 3D environment model reconstruction from a set of 2D images acquired by the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) in near real-time. The designed framework combines the FAST (Features from Accelerated Segment Test) algorithm and optical flow approach for detection of interest image points and adjacent images reconstruction. The robust estimation of camera locations is performed using the image points tracking. The coordinates of 3D points and the projection matrix are computed simultaneously using Structure-from-Motion (SfM) algorithm, from which the 3D model of environment is generated. The designed framework is tested using real image data and video sequences captured with camera mounted on the UAV. The effectiveness and quality of the proposed framework are verified through analyses of accuracy of the 3D model reconstruction and its time execution.

    @INPROCEEDINGS{8124461,
    author={D. {Lapandic} and J. {Velagic} and H. {Balta}},
    booktitle={2017 International Symposium ELMAR},
    title={Framework for automated reconstruction of 3D model from multiple 2D aerial images},
    year={2017},
    volume={},
    number={},
    pages={173-176},
    abstract={The paper considers a problem of 3D environment model reconstruction from a set of 2D images acquired by the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) in near real-time. The designed framework combines the FAST (Features from Accelerated Segment Test) algorithm and optical flow approach for detection of interest image points and adjacent images reconstruction. The robust estimation of camera locations is performed using the image points tracking. The coordinates of 3D points and the projection matrix are computed simultaneously using Structure-from-Motion (SfM) algorithm, from which the 3D model of environment is generated. The designed framework is tested using real image data and video sequences captured with camera mounted on the UAV. The effectiveness and quality of the proposed framework are verified through analyses of accuracy of the 3D model reconstruction and its time execution.},
    keywords={autonomous aerial vehicles;cameras;feature extraction;image reconstruction;image segmentation;image sensors;image sequences;remotely operated vehicles;video signal processing;automated reconstruction;multiple 2D aerial images;3D environment model reconstruction;UAV;optical flow approach;interest image points;robust estimation;camera locations;image data;3D model reconstruction;unmanned aerial vehicle;adjacent image reconstruction;structure-from-motion algorithm;features from accelerated segment test;Three-dimensional displays;Solid modeling;Image reconstruction;Two dimensional displays;Cameras;Feature extraction;Optical imaging;3D Model reconstruction;Aerial images;Structure from motion;Unmanned aerial vehicle},
    doi={10.23919/ELMAR.2017.8124461},
    ISSN={},
    project={NRTP,ICARUS},
    address = {Zadar, Croatia},
    publisher={IEEE},
    url={https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/8124461},
    month={Sep.},
    }

  • H. Balta, “Spatial registration of 3D data from aerial and ground-based unmanned robotic systems," PhD Thesis, 2017.
    [BibTeX] [Abstract]

    Robotic systems are more and more leaving the protected laboratory environment and entering our daily lives. These robotic entities can come in the form of aerial systems (drones), ground robots or unmanned maritime systems. Each of these robots gathers data about its environment for analysis and reasoning purposes. As more and more robotic systems are deployed, the amount of environmental data gathered by these systems also increases tremendously. This gives rise to a new problem: how to coherently combine the environmental information acquired by different robotic systems into one representation that is both accurate and easy to use by human end-users? In this thesis, we introduce novel methodologies to solve this data fusion problem, by proposing a novel framework for combining heterogeneous 3D data models acquired by different robotic systems, operated in unknown large unstructured outdoor environments into a common homogeneous model. The first proposed novelty of the research work is a fast and robust ground-based 3D map reconstruction methodology for large-scale unstructured outdoor environments. It is based on an enhanced Iterative-Closest- Point algorithm and an iterative error minimization structure, as well as the fast and computational very efficient method for outlier analysis and removal in 3D point clouds. The second proposed novelty of the research work is a registration methodology combining heterogeneous data-sets acquired from unmanned aerial and ground vehicles (UAV and UGV). This is accomplished by introducing a semi-automated 3D registration framework. The framework is capable of coping with an arbitrary scale difference between the point clouds, without any information about their initial position and orientation. Furthermore, it does not require a good initial overlap between the two heterogeneous UGV and UAV point clouds. Our framework strikes an elegant balance between the existing fully automated 3D registration systems (which often fail in the case of heterogeneous data-sets and harsh-outdoor environments) and fully manual registration approaches (which are labour-intensive). A special and defining aspect of this PhD. work was that we did not only focus on investigating scientific and technical innovations but that we also concentrated on bringing these innovations to the terrain in real operational environments in the security context. As an example, we deployed the technological tools developed in the framework of this research work to the field for demining and crisis relief operations in an actual crisis situation. This operational deployment was highly successful, based upon the feedback provided by the end-users.

    @PHDTHESIS {phdbalta,
    author = "Haris Balta",
    title = "Spatial registration of 3D data from aerial and ground-based unmanned robotic systems",
    school = "Royal Military Academy of Belgium",
    year = "2017",
    project={NRTP,ICARUS,TIRAMISU},
    abstract = {Robotic systems are more and more leaving the protected laboratory environment and entering our daily lives. These robotic entities can come in the form of aerial systems (drones), ground robots or unmanned maritime systems. Each of these robots gathers data about its environment for analysis and reasoning purposes. As more and more robotic systems are deployed, the amount of environmental data gathered by these systems also increases tremendously. This gives rise to a new problem: how to coherently combine the environmental information acquired by different robotic systems into one representation that is both accurate and easy to use by human end-users? In this thesis, we introduce novel methodologies to solve this data fusion problem, by proposing a novel framework for combining heterogeneous 3D data models acquired by different robotic systems, operated in unknown large unstructured outdoor environments into a common homogeneous model.
    The first proposed novelty of the research work is a fast and robust ground-based 3D map reconstruction methodology for large-scale unstructured outdoor environments. It is based on an enhanced Iterative-Closest- Point algorithm and an iterative error minimization structure, as well as the fast and computational very efficient method for outlier analysis and removal in 3D point clouds.
    The second proposed novelty of the research work is a registration methodology combining heterogeneous data-sets acquired from unmanned aerial and ground vehicles (UAV and UGV). This is accomplished by introducing a semi-automated 3D registration framework. The framework is capable of coping with an arbitrary scale difference between the point clouds, without any information about their initial position and orientation. Furthermore, it does not require a good initial overlap between the two heterogeneous UGV and UAV point clouds. Our framework strikes an elegant balance between the existing fully automated 3D registration systems (which often fail in the case of heterogeneous data-sets and harsh-outdoor environments) and fully manual registration approaches (which are labour-intensive).
    A special and defining aspect of this PhD. work was that we did not only focus on investigating scientific and technical innovations but that we also concentrated on bringing these innovations to the terrain in real operational environments in the security context. As an example, we deployed the technological tools developed in the framework of this research work to the field for demining and crisis relief operations in an actual crisis situation. This operational deployment was highly successful, based upon the feedback provided by the end-users.},
    }

2016

  • M. M. Marques, R. Parreira, V. Lobo, A. Martins, A. Matos, N. Cruz, J. M. Almeida, J. C. Alves, E. Silva, J. Bedkowski, K. Majek, M. Pelka, P. Musialik, H. Ferreira, A. Dias, B. Ferreira, G. Amaral, A. Figueiredo, R. Almeida, F. Silva, D. Serrano, G. Moreno, G. De Cubber, H. Balta, and H. Beglerovic, “Use of multi-domain robots in search and rescue operations — Contributions of the ICARUS team to the euRathlon 2015 challenge," in OCEANS 2016, Shanghai, China, 2016, p. 1–7.
    [BibTeX] [Download PDF] [DOI]
    @InProceedings{marques2016use,
    author = {Mario Monteiro Marques and Rui Parreira and Victor Lobo and Alfredo Martins and Anibal Matos and Nuno Cruz and Jose Miguel Almeida and Jose Carlos Alves and Eduardo Silva and Janusz Bedkowski and Karol Majek and Michal Pelka and Pawel Musialik and Hugo Ferreira and Andre Dias and Bruno Ferreira and Guilherme Amaral and Andre Figueiredo and Rui Almeida and Filipe Silva and Daniel Serrano and German Moreno and De Cubber, Geert and Haris Balta and Halil Beglerovic},
    booktitle = {{OCEANS} 2016},
    title = {Use of multi-domain robots in search and rescue operations {\textemdash} Contributions of the {ICARUS} team to the {euRathlon} 2015 challenge},
    year = {2016},
    month = apr,
    organization = {IEEE},
    pages = {1--7},
    publisher = {{IEEE}},
    doi = {10.1109/oceansap.2016.7485354},
    project = {ICARUS},
    address = {Shanghai, China},
    url = {http://mecatron.rma.ac.be/pub/2016/euRathlon2015_paper_final.pdf},
    }

  • H. Balta, J. Bedkowski, S. Govindaraj, K. Majek, P. Musialik, D. Serrano, K. Alexis, R. Siegwart, and G. De Cubber, “Integrated Data Management for a Fleet of Search-and-rescue Robots," Journal of Field Robotics, vol. 34, iss. 3, p. 539–582, 2016.
    [BibTeX] [Abstract] [Download PDF] [DOI]

    Search‐and‐rescue operations have recently been confronted with the introduction of robotic tools that assist the human search‐and‐rescue workers in their dangerous but life‐saving job of searching for human survivors after major catastrophes. However, the world of search and rescue is highly reliant on strict procedures for the transfer of messages, alarms, data, and command and control over the deployed assets. The introduction of robotic tools into this world causes an important structural change in this procedural toolchain. Moreover, the introduction of search‐and‐rescue robots acting as data gatherers could potentially lead to an information overload toward the human search‐and‐rescue workers, if the data acquired by these robotic tools are not managed in an intelligent way. With that in mind, we present in this paper an integrated data combination and data management architecture that is able to accommodate real‐time data gathered by a fleet of robotic vehicles on a crisis site, and we present and publish these data in a way that is easy to understand by end‐users. In the scope of this paper, a fleet of unmanned ground and aerial search‐and‐rescue vehicles is considered, developed within the scope of the European ICARUS project. As a first step toward the integrated data‐management methodology, the different robotic systems require an interoperable framework in order to pass data from one to another and toward the unified command and control station. As a second step, a data fusion methodology will be presented, combining the data acquired by the different heterogenic robotic systems. The computation needed for this process is done in a novel mobile data center and then (as a third step) published in a software as a service (SaaS) model. The SaaS model helps in providing access to robotic data over ubiquitous Ethernet connections. As a final step, we show how the presented data‐management architecture allows for reusing recorded exercises with real robots and rescue teams for training purposes and teaching search‐and‐rescue personnel how to handle the different robotic tools. The system was validated in two experiments. First, in the controlled environment of a military testing base, a fleet of unmanned ground and aerial vehicles was deployed in an earthquake‐response scenario. The data gathered by the different interoperable robotic systems were combined by a novel mobile data center and presented to the end‐user public. Second, an unmanned aerial system was deployed on an actual mission with an international relief team to help with the relief operations after major flooding in Bosnia in the spring of 2014. Due to the nature of the event (floods), no ground vehicles were deployed here, but all data acquired by the aerial system (mainly three‐dimensional maps) were stored in the ICARUS data center, where they were securely published for authorized personnel all over the world. This mission (which is, to our knowledge, the first recorded deployment of an unmanned aerial system by an official governmental international search‐and‐rescue team in another country) proved also the concept of the procedural integration of the ICARUS data management system into the existing procedural toolchain of the search and rescue workers, and this in an international context (deployment from Belgium to Bosnia). The feedback received from the search‐and‐rescue personnel on both validation exercises was highly positive, proving that the ICARUS data management system can efficiently increase the situational awareness of the search‐and‐rescue personnel.

    @Article{balta2017integrated,
    author = {Haris Balta and Janusz Bedkowski and Shashank Govindaraj and Karol Majek and Pawel Musialik and Daniel Serrano and Kostas Alexis and Roland Siegwart and De Cubber, Geert},
    journal = {Journal of Field Robotics},
    title = {Integrated Data Management for a Fleet of Search-and-rescue Robots},
    year = {2016},
    month = jul,
    number = {3},
    pages = {539--582},
    volume = {34},
    abstract = {Search‐and‐rescue operations have recently been confronted with the introduction of robotic tools that assist the human search‐and‐rescue workers in their dangerous but life‐saving job of searching for human survivors after major catastrophes. However, the world of search and rescue is highly reliant on strict procedures for the transfer of messages, alarms, data, and command and control over the deployed assets. The introduction of robotic tools into this world causes an important structural change in this procedural toolchain. Moreover, the introduction of search‐and‐rescue robots acting as data gatherers could potentially lead to an information overload toward the human search‐and‐rescue workers, if the data acquired by these robotic tools are not managed in an intelligent way. With that in mind, we present in this paper an integrated data combination and data management architecture that is able to accommodate real‐time data gathered by a fleet of robotic vehicles on a crisis site, and we present and publish these data in a way that is easy to understand by end‐users. In the scope of this paper, a fleet of unmanned ground and aerial search‐and‐rescue vehicles is considered, developed within the scope of the European ICARUS project. As a first step toward the integrated data‐management methodology, the different robotic systems require an interoperable framework in order to pass data from one to another and toward the unified command and control station. As a second step, a data fusion methodology will be presented, combining the data acquired by the different heterogenic robotic systems. The computation needed for this process is done in a novel mobile data center and then (as a third step) published in a software as a service (SaaS) model. The SaaS model helps in providing access to robotic data over ubiquitous Ethernet connections. As a final step, we show how the presented data‐management architecture allows for reusing recorded exercises with real robots and rescue teams for training purposes and teaching search‐and‐rescue personnel how to handle the different robotic tools. The system was validated in two experiments. First, in the controlled environment of a military testing base, a fleet of unmanned ground and aerial vehicles was deployed in an earthquake‐response scenario. The data gathered by the different interoperable robotic systems were combined by a novel mobile data center and presented to the end‐user public. Second, an unmanned aerial system was deployed on an actual mission with an international relief team to help with the relief operations after major flooding in Bosnia in the spring of 2014. Due to the nature of the event (floods), no ground vehicles were deployed here, but all data acquired by the aerial system (mainly three‐dimensional maps) were stored in the ICARUS data center, where they were securely published for authorized personnel all over the world. This mission (which is, to our knowledge, the first recorded deployment of an unmanned aerial system by an official governmental international search‐and‐rescue team in another country) proved also the concept of the procedural integration of the ICARUS data management system into the existing procedural toolchain of the search and rescue workers, and this in an international context (deployment from Belgium to Bosnia). The feedback received from the search‐and‐rescue personnel on both validation exercises was highly positive, proving that the ICARUS data management system can efficiently increase the situational awareness of the search‐and‐rescue personnel.},
    doi = {10.1002/rob.21651},
    publisher = {Wiley},
    project = {ICARUS},
    url = {https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/rob.21651},
    }

2015

  • D. Doroftei, A. Matos, E. Silva, V. Lobo, R. Wagemans, and G. De Cubber, “Operational validation of robots for risky environments," in 8th IARP Workshop on Robotics for Risky Environments, Lisbon, Portugal, 2015.
    [BibTeX] [Abstract] [Download PDF]

    This paper presents an operational test and validation approach for the evaluation of the performance of a range of marine, aerial and ground search and rescue robots. The proposed approach seeks to find a compromise between the traditional rigorous standardized approaches and the open-ended robot competitions. Operational scenarios are defined, including a performance assessment of individual robots but also collective operations where heterogeneous robots cooperate together and with manned teams in search and rescue activities. That way, it is possible to perform a more complete validation of the use of robotic tools in challenging real world scenarios.

    @InProceedings{doroftei2015operational,
    author = {Doroftei, Daniela and Matos, Anibal and Silva, Eduardo and Lobo, Victor and Wagemans, Rene and De Cubber, Geert},
    booktitle = {8th IARP Workshop on Robotics for Risky Environments},
    title = {Operational validation of robots for risky environments},
    year = {2015},
    abstract = {This paper presents an operational test and validation approach for the evaluation of the performance of a range of marine, aerial and ground search and rescue robots. The proposed approach seeks to find a compromise between the traditional rigorous standardized approaches and the open-ended robot competitions. Operational scenarios are defined, including a performance assessment of individual robots but also collective operations where heterogeneous robots cooperate together and with manned teams in search and rescue activities. That way, it is possible to perform a more complete validation of the use of robotic tools in challenging real world scenarios.},
    project = {ICARUS},
    address = {Lisbon, Portugal},
    url = {http://mecatron.rma.ac.be/pub/2015/Operational validation of robots for risky environments.pdf},
    }

  • D. Serrano, P. Chrobocinski, G. De Cubber, D. Moore, G. Leventakis, and S. Govindaraj, “ICARUS and DARIUS approaches towards interoperability," in 8th IARP Workshop on Robotics for Risky Environments, Lisbon, Portugal, 2015.
    [BibTeX] [Abstract] [Download PDF]

    The two FP7 projects ICARUS and DARIUS share a common objective which is to integrate the unmanned platforms in Search and Rescue operations and assess their added value through the development of an integrated system that will be tested in realistic conditions on the field. This paper describes the concept of both projects towards an optimized interoperability level in the three dimensions: organizational, procedural and technical interoperability, describing the system components and illustrating the results of the trials already performed.

    @InProceedings{serrano2015icarus,
    author = {Serrano, Daniel and Chrobocinski, Philippe and De Cubber, Geert and Moore, Dave and Leventakis, Georgios and Govindaraj, Shashank},
    booktitle = {8th IARP Workshop on Robotics for Risky Environments},
    title = {{ICARUS} and {DARIUS} approaches towards interoperability},
    year = {2015},
    abstract = {The two FP7 projects ICARUS and DARIUS share a common objective which is to integrate the unmanned platforms in Search and Rescue operations and assess their added value through the development of an integrated system that will be tested in realistic conditions on the field. This paper describes the concept of both projects towards an optimized interoperability level in the three dimensions: organizational, procedural and technical interoperability, describing the system components and illustrating the results of the trials already performed.},
    project = {ICARUS},
    address = {Lisbon, Portugal},
    url = {http://mecatron.rma.ac.be/pub/2015/RISE - 2015 - ICARUS and DARIUS approach towards interoperability - rev1.3.pdf},
    }

  • H. Balta, G. De Cubber, Y. Baudoin, and D. Doroftei, “UAS deployment and data processing during the Balkans flooding with the support to Mine Action," in 8th IARP Workshop on Robotics for Risky Environments, Lisbon, Portugal, 2015.
    [BibTeX] [Abstract] [Download PDF]

    In this paper, we provide a report on a real relief operation mission, jointly conducted by two European research projects, in response to the massive flooding in the Balkan in spring 2014. Un Unmanned Aerial System was deployed on-site in collaboration with traditional relief workers, to support them with damage assessment, area mapping, visual inspection and re-localizing the many explosive remnants of war which have been moved due to the flooding and landslides. The destructive impact of landslides, sediment torrents and floods on the mine fields and the change of mine action situation resulted with significant negative environmental and security consequences. Novel robotic technologies and data processing methodologies were brought from the research labs and directly applied onto the terrain in order to support the relief workers and minimize human suffering.

    @InProceedings{balta2015uas,
    author = {Balta, Haris and De Cubber, Geert and Baudoin, Yvan and Doroftei, Daniela},
    booktitle = {8th IARP Workshop on Robotics for Risky Environments},
    title = {{UAS} deployment and data processing during the {Balkans} flooding with the support to Mine Action},
    year = {2015},
    abstract = {In this paper, we provide a report on a real relief operation mission, jointly conducted by two European research projects, in response to the massive flooding in the Balkan in spring 2014. Un Unmanned Aerial System was deployed on-site in collaboration with traditional relief workers, to support them with damage assessment, area mapping, visual inspection and re-localizing the many explosive remnants of war which have been moved due to the flooding and landslides. The destructive impact of landslides, sediment torrents and floods on the mine fields and the change of mine action situation resulted with significant negative environmental and security consequences. Novel robotic technologies and data processing methodologies were brought from the research labs and directly applied onto the terrain in order to support the relief workers and minimize human suffering.},
    project = {ICARUS},
    address = {Lisbon, Portugal},
    url = {http://mecatron.rma.ac.be/pub/2015/RISE_2015_Haris_Balta_RMA.PDF},
    }

  • G. De Cubber and H. Balta, “Terrain Traversability Analysis using full-scale 3D Processing," in 8th IARP Workshop on Robotics for Risky Environments, Lisbon, Portugal, 2015.
    [BibTeX] [Abstract] [Download PDF]

    Autonomous robotic systems which aspire to navigate through rough unstructured terrain require the capability to reason about the environmental characteristics of their environment. As a first priority, the robotic systems need to assess the degree of traversability of their immediate environment to ensure their mobility while navigating through these rough environments. This paper presents a novel terrain-traversability analyis methodology which is based on processing the full 3D model of the terrain, not on a projected or downscaled version of this model. The approach is validated using field tests using a time-of-flight camera.

    @InProceedings{de2015terrain,
    author = {De Cubber, Geert and Balta, Haris},
    booktitle = {8th IARP Workshop on Robotics for Risky Environments},
    title = {Terrain Traversability Analysis using full-scale {3D} Processing},
    year = {2015},
    abstract = {Autonomous robotic systems which aspire to navigate through rough unstructured terrain require the capability to reason about the environmental characteristics of their environment. As a first priority, the robotic systems need to assess the degree of traversability of their immediate environment to ensure their mobility while navigating through these rough environments. This paper presents a novel terrain-traversability analyis methodology which is based on processing the full 3D model of the terrain, not on a projected or downscaled version of this model. The approach is validated using field tests using a time-of-flight camera.},
    project = {ICARUS},
    address = {Lisbon, Portugal},
    url = {http://mecatron.rma.ac.be/pub/2015/Terrain Traversability Analysis.pdf},
    }

  • O. De Meyst, T. Goethals, H. Balta, G. De Cubber, and R. Haelterman, “Autonomous guidance for a UAS along a staircase," in International Symposium on Visual Computing, Las Vegas, USA, 2015, p. 466–475.
    [BibTeX] [Abstract] [Download PDF] [DOI]

    In the quest for fully autonomous unmanned aerial systems (UAS), multiple challenges are faced. For enabling autonomous UAS navigation in indoor environments, one of the major bottlenecks is the capability to autonomously traverse narrow 3D – passages, like staircases. This paper presents a novel integrated system that implements a semi-autonomous navigation system for a quadcopter. The navigation system permits the UAS to detect a staircase using only the images provided by an on-board monocular camera. A 3D model of this staircase is then automatically reconstructed and this model is used to guide the UAS to the top of the detected staircase. For validating the methodology, a proof of concept is created, based on the Parrot AR.Drone 2.0 which is a cheap commercial off-the-shelf quadcopter.

    @InProceedings{de2015autonomous,
    author = {De Meyst, Olivier and Goethals, Thijs and Balta, Haris and De Cubber, Geert and Haelterman, Rob},
    booktitle = {International Symposium on Visual Computing},
    title = {Autonomous guidance for a {UAS} along a staircase},
    year = {2015},
    organization = {Springer, Cham},
    pages = {466--475},
    abstract = {In the quest for fully autonomous unmanned aerial systems (UAS), multiple challenges are faced. For enabling autonomous UAS navigation in indoor environments, one of the major bottlenecks is the capability to autonomously traverse narrow 3D - passages, like staircases. This paper presents a novel integrated system that implements a semi-autonomous navigation system for a quadcopter. The navigation system permits the UAS to detect a staircase using only the images provided by an on-board monocular camera. A 3D model of this staircase is then automatically reconstructed and this model is used to guide the UAS to the top of the detected staircase. For validating the methodology, a proof of concept is created, based on the Parrot AR.Drone 2.0 which is a cheap commercial off-the-shelf quadcopter.},
    doi = {10.1007/978-3-319-27857-5_42},
    project = {ICARUS},
    address = {Las Vegas, USA},
    url = {https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-319-27857-5_42},
    }

  • G. De Cubber, “Search and Rescue Robots," Belgisch Militair Tijdschrift, vol. 10, p. 50–60, 2015.
    [BibTeX] [Abstract] [Download PDF]

    This article provides an overview of the work on search and rescue robotics and more specifically the research performed within the ICARUS research project.

    @Article{de2015search,
    author = {De Cubber, Geert},
    journal = {Belgisch Militair Tijdschrift},
    title = {Search and Rescue Robots},
    year = {2015},
    pages = {50--60},
    volume = {10},
    abstract = {This article provides an overview of the work on search and rescue robotics and more specifically the research performed within the ICARUS research project.},
    publisher = {Defensie},
    project = {ICARUS},
    url = {http://mecatron.rma.ac.be/pub/2015/rmb102.pdf},
    }

2014

  • D. Doroftei, A. Matos, and G. De Cubber, “Designing Search and Rescue Robots towards Realistic User Requirements," in Advanced Concepts on Mechanical Engineering (ACME), Iasi, Romania, 2014.
    [BibTeX] [Abstract] [Download PDF] [DOI]

    In the event of a large crisis (think about typhoon Haiyan or the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami in Japan), a primordial task of the rescue services is the search for human survivors on the incident site. This is a complex and dangerous task, which often leads to loss of lives among the human crisis managers themselves. The introduction of unmanned search and rescue devices can offer a valuable tool to save human lives and to speed up the search and rescue process. In this context, the EU-FP7-ICARUS project [1] concentrates on the development of unmanned search and rescue technologies for detecting, locating and rescuing humans. The complex nature and difficult operating conditions of search and rescue operations pose heavy constraints on the mechanical design of the unmanned platforms. In this paper, we discuss the different user requirements which have an impact of the design of the mechanical systems (air, ground and marine robots). We show how these user requirements are obtained, how they are validated, how they lead to design specifications for operational prototypes which are tested in realistic operational conditions and we show how the final mechanical design specifications are derived from these different steps. An important aspect of all these design steps which is emphasized in this paper is to always keep the end-users in the loop in order to come to realistic requirements and specifications, ensuring the practical deployability [2] of the developed platforms.

    @InProceedings{doroftei2014designing,
    author = {Doroftei, Daniela and Matos, Anibal and De Cubber, Geert},
    booktitle = {Advanced Concepts on Mechanical Engineering (ACME)},
    title = {Designing Search and Rescue Robots towards Realistic User Requirements},
    year = {2014},
    abstract = {In the event of a large crisis (think about typhoon Haiyan or the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami in Japan), a primordial task of the rescue services is the search for human survivors on the incident site. This is a complex and dangerous task, which often leads to loss of lives among the human crisis managers themselves. The introduction of unmanned search and rescue devices can
    offer a valuable tool to save human lives and to speed up the search and rescue process. In this context, the EU-FP7-ICARUS project [1] concentrates on the development of unmanned search and rescue technologies for detecting, locating and rescuing humans. The complex nature and difficult operating conditions of search and rescue operations pose heavy constraints on the mechanical design of the unmanned platforms. In this paper, we discuss the different user requirements which have an impact of the design of the mechanical systems (air, ground and marine robots). We show how these user requirements are obtained, how they are validated, how they lead to design specifications for operational prototypes which are tested in realistic operational conditions and we show how the final mechanical design specifications are derived from these different steps. An important aspect of all these design steps which is emphasized in this paper is to always keep the end-users in the loop in order to come to realistic requirements and specifications, ensuring the practical deployability [2] of the developed platforms.},
    doi = {10.4028/www.scientific.net/amm.658.612},
    project = {ICARUS},
    address = {Iasi, Romania},
    url = {http://mecatron.rma.ac.be/pub/2014/Designing Search and Rescue robots towards realistic user requirements - full article -v3.pdf},
    }

  • G. De Cubber, H. Balta, and C. Lietart, “Teodor: A semi-autonomous search and rescue and demining robot," in Advanced Concepts on Mechanical Engineering (ACME), Iasi, Romania, 2014.
    [BibTeX] [Abstract] [Download PDF] [DOI]

    In this paper, we present a ground robotic system which is developed to deal with rough outdoor conditions. The platform is to be used as an environmental monitoring robot for 2 main application areas: 1) Humanitarian demining: The vehicle is equipped with a specialized multichannel metal detector array. An unmanned aerial system supports it for locating suspected locations of mines, which can then be confirmed by the ground vehicle. 2) Search and rescue: The vehicle is equipped with human victim detection sensors and a 3D camera enabling it to assess the traversability of the terrain in front of the robot in order to be able to navigate autonomously. This paper discusses both the mechanical design of these platforms as the autonomous perception capabilities on board of these vehicles.

    @InProceedings{de2014teodor,
    author = {De Cubber, Geert and Balta, Haris and Lietart, Claude},
    booktitle = {Advanced Concepts on Mechanical Engineering (ACME)},
    title = {Teodor: A semi-autonomous search and rescue and demining robot},
    year = {2014},
    abstract = {In this paper, we present a ground robotic system which is developed to deal with rough outdoor conditions. The platform is to be used as an environmental monitoring robot for 2 main application areas: 1) Humanitarian demining: The vehicle is equipped with a specialized multichannel metal detector array. An unmanned aerial system supports it for locating suspected locations of mines, which can then be confirmed by the ground vehicle. 2) Search and rescue: The vehicle is equipped with human victim detection sensors and a 3D camera enabling it to assess the traversability of the terrain in front of the robot in order to be able to navigate autonomously. This paper discusses both the mechanical design of these platforms as the autonomous perception
    capabilities on board of these vehicles.},
    doi = {10.4028/www.scientific.net/amm.658.599},
    project = {ICARUS},
    address = {Iasi, Romania},
    url = {http://mecatron.rma.ac.be/pub/2014/Teodor - A semi-autonomous search and rescue and demining robot - full article.pdf},
    }

  • G. De Cubber, H. Balta, D. Doroftei, and Y. Baudoin, “UAS deployment and data processing during the Balkans flooding," in 2014 IEEE International Symposium on Safety, Security, and Rescue Robotics (2014), Toyako-cho, Hokkaido, Japan, 2014, p. 1–4.
    [BibTeX] [Abstract] [Download PDF] [DOI]

    This project paper provides a report on a real relief operation mission, jointly conducted by two European research projects, in response to the massive flooding in the Balkan in spring 2014. Un Unmanned Aerial System was deployed on-site in collaboration with traditional relief workers, to support them with damage assessment, area mapping, visual inspection and re-localizing the many explosive remnants of war which have been moved due to the flooding and landslides. Novel robotic technologies and data processing methodologies were brought from the research labs and directly applied onto the terrain in order to support the relief workers and minimize human suffering.

    @InProceedings{de2014uas,
    author = {De Cubber, Geert and Balta, Haris and Doroftei, Daniela and Baudoin, Yvan},
    booktitle = {2014 IEEE International Symposium on Safety, Security, and Rescue Robotics (2014)},
    title = {{UAS} deployment and data processing during the Balkans flooding},
    year = {2014},
    organization = {IEEE},
    pages = {1--4},
    abstract = {This project paper provides a report on a real relief operation mission, jointly conducted by two European research projects, in response to the massive flooding in the Balkan in spring 2014. Un Unmanned Aerial System was deployed on-site in collaboration with traditional relief workers, to support them with damage assessment, area mapping, visual inspection and re-localizing the many explosive remnants of war which have been moved due to the flooding and landslides. Novel robotic technologies and data processing methodologies were brought from the research labs and directly applied onto the terrain in order to support the relief workers and minimize human suffering.},
    doi = {10.1109/ssrr.2014.7017670},
    project = {ICARUS},
    address = {Toyako-cho, Hokkaido, Japan},
    url = {http://mecatron.rma.ac.be/pub/2014/SSRR2014_proj_037.pdf},
    }

  • M. Pelka, K. Majek, J. Bedkowski, P. Musialik, A. Maslowski, G. de Cubber, H. Balta, A. Coelho, R. Goncalves, R. Baptista, J. M. Sanchez, and S. Govindaraj, “Training and Support system in the Cloud for improving the situational awareness in Search and Rescue (SAR) operations," in 2014 IEEE International Symposium on Safety, Security, and Rescue Robotics (2014), Toyako-cho, Hokkaido, Japan, 2014, p. 1–6.
    [BibTeX] [Abstract] [Download PDF] [DOI]

    In this paper, a Training and Support system for Search and Rescue operations is described. The system is a component of the ICARUS project (http://www.fp7-icarus.eu) which has a goal to develop sensor, robotic and communication technologies for Human Search And Rescue teams. The support system for planning and managing complex SAR operations is implemented as a command and control component that integrates different sources of spatial information, such as maps of the affected area, satellite images and sensor data coming from the unmanned robots, in order to provide a situation snapshot to the rescue team who will make the necessary decisions. Support issues will include planning of frequency resources needed for given areas, prediction of coverage conditions, location of fixed communication relays, etc. The training system is developed for the ICARUS operators controlling UGVs (Unmanned Ground Vehicles), UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) and USVs (Unmanned Surface Vehicles) from a unified Remote Control Station (RC2). The Training and Support system is implemented in SaaS model (Software as a Service). Therefore, its functionality is available over the Ethernet. SAR ICARUS teams from different countries can be trained simultaneously on a shared virtual stage. In this paper we will show the multi-robot 3D mapping component (aerial vehicle and ground vehicles). We will demonstrate that these 3D maps can be used for Training purpose. Finally we demonstrate current approach for ICARUS Urban SAR (USAR) and Marine SAR (MSAR) operation training.

    @InProceedings{pelka2014training,
    author = {Michal Pelka and Karol Majek and Janusz Bedkowski and Pawel Musialik and Andrzej Maslowski and Geert de Cubber and Haris Balta and Antonio Coelho and Ricardo Goncalves and Ricardo Baptista and Jose Manuel Sanchez and Shashank Govindaraj},
    booktitle = {2014 {IEEE} International Symposium on Safety, Security, and Rescue Robotics (2014)},
    title = {Training and Support system in the Cloud for improving the situational awareness in Search and Rescue ({SAR}) operations},
    year = {2014},
    month = oct,
    organization = {IEEE},
    pages = {1--6},
    publisher = {{IEEE}},
    abstract = {In this paper, a Training and Support system for Search and Rescue operations is described. The system is a component of the ICARUS project (http://www.fp7-icarus.eu) which has a goal to develop sensor, robotic and communication technologies for Human Search And Rescue teams. The support system for planning and managing complex SAR operations is implemented as a command and control component that integrates different sources of spatial information, such as maps of the affected area, satellite images and sensor data coming from the unmanned robots, in order to provide a situation snapshot to the rescue team who will make the necessary decisions. Support issues will include planning of frequency resources needed for given areas, prediction of coverage conditions, location of fixed communication relays, etc. The training system is developed for the ICARUS operators controlling UGVs (Unmanned Ground Vehicles), UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) and USVs (Unmanned Surface Vehicles) from a unified Remote Control Station (RC2). The Training and Support system is implemented in SaaS model (Software as a Service). Therefore, its functionality is available over the Ethernet. SAR ICARUS teams from different countries can be trained simultaneously on a shared virtual stage. In this paper we will show the multi-robot 3D mapping component (aerial vehicle and ground vehicles). We will demonstrate that these 3D maps can be used for Training purpose. Finally we demonstrate current approach for ICARUS Urban SAR (USAR) and Marine SAR (MSAR) operation training.},
    doi = {10.1109/ssrr.2014.7017644},
    project = {ICARUS},
    address = {Toyako-cho, Hokkaido, Japan},
    url = {https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/7017644?arnumber=7017644&sortType=asc_p_Sequence&filter=AND(p_IS_Number:7017643)=},
    }

  • C. Armbrust, G. De Cubber, and K. Berns, “ICARUS Control Systems for Search and Rescue Robots," Field and Assistive Robotics – Advances in Systems and Algorithms, 2014.
    [BibTeX] [Abstract] [Download PDF]

    This paper describes results of the European project ICARUS in the field of search and rescue robotics. It presents the software architectures of two unmanned ground vehicles (a small and a large one) developed in the context of the project. The architectures of the two vehicles share many similarities. This allows for component reuse and thus reduces the overall development effort. Hence, the main contribution of this paper are design concepts that can serve as a basis for the development of different robot control systems.

    @Article{armbrust2014icarus,
    author = {Armbrust, Christopher and De Cubber, Geert and Berns, Karsten},
    journal = {Field and Assistive Robotics - Advances in Systems and Algorithms},
    title = {{ICARUS} Control Systems for Search and Rescue Robots},
    year = {2014},
    abstract = {This paper describes results of the European project ICARUS in the field of search and rescue robotics. It presents the software architectures of two unmanned ground vehicles (a small and a large one) developed in the context of the project. The architectures of the two vehicles share many similarities. This allows for component reuse and thus reduces the overall development effort. Hence, the main contribution of this paper are design concepts that can serve as a basis for the development of different robot control systems.},
    publisher = {Shaker Verlag},
    project = {ICARUS},
    url = {https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/713d/8c8561eba9b577f17d3059155e1f3953893a.pdf},
    }

  • G. De Cubber and H. Balta, “ICARUS RPAS AND THEIR OPERATIONAL USE IN Bosnia," in RPAS 2014, Brussels, Belgium, 2014.
    [BibTeX] [Abstract] [Download PDF]

    This is a report in the field mission with an unmanned aircraft system in Spring 2014 in Bosnia, to help with flood relief and mine clearing operations.

    @InProceedings{de2014icarus,
    author = {De Cubber, Geert and Balta, Haris},
    booktitle = {RPAS 2014},
    title = {{ICARUS RPAS} AND THEIR OPERATIONAL USE IN {Bosnia}},
    year = {2014},
    organization = {UVS International},
    abstract = {This is a report in the field mission with an unmanned aircraft system in Spring 2014 in Bosnia, to help with flood relief and mine clearing operations.},
    project = {ICARUS},
    address = {Brussels, Belgium},
    url = {http://mecatron.rma.ac.be/pub/2014/Icarus Project - RPAS in Bosnia_.pdf},
    }

2013

  • J. Bedkowski, K. Majek, I. Ostrowski, P. Musialik, A. Mas{l}owski, A. Adamek, A. Coelho, and G. De Cubber, “Methodology of Training and Support for Urban Search and Rescue With Robots," in Proc. Ninth International Conference on Autonomic and Autonomous Systems (ICAS), Lisbon, Portugal, Lisbon, Portugal, 2013, p. 77–82.
    [BibTeX] [Abstract] [Download PDF]

    A primordial task of the fire-fighting and rescue services in the event of a large crisis is the search for human survivors on the incident site. This task, being complex and dangerous, often leads to loss of lives. Unmanned search and rescue devices can provide a valuable tool for saving human lives and speeding up the search and rescue operations. Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) community agrees with the fact that the operator skill is the main factor for successfully using unmanned robotic platforms. The key training concept is “train as you fight" mentality. Intervention troops focalize on “real training", as a crisis is difficult to simulate. For this reason, in this paper a methodology of training and support for USAR with unmanned vehicles is proposed. The methodology integrates the Qualitative Spatio-Temporal Representation and Reasoning (QSTRR) framework with USAR tools to decrease the cognitive load on human operators working with sophisticated robotic platforms. Tools for simplifying and improving virtual training environment generation from life data are shown

    @InProceedings{bedkowski2013methodology,
    author = {Bedkowski, Janusz and Majek, Karol and Ostrowski, Igor and Musialik, Pawe{\l} and Mas{\l}owski, Andrzej and Adamek, Artur and Coelho, Antonio and De Cubber, Geert},
    booktitle = {Proc. Ninth International Conference on Autonomic and Autonomous Systems (ICAS), Lisbon, Portugal},
    title = {Methodology of Training and Support for Urban Search and Rescue With Robots},
    year = {2013},
    address = {Lisbon, Portugal},
    month = mar,
    pages = {77--82},
    abstract = {A primordial task of the fire-fighting and rescue services in the event of a large crisis is the search for human survivors on the incident site. This task, being complex and dangerous, often leads to loss of lives. Unmanned search and rescue devices can provide a valuable tool for saving human lives and speeding up the search and rescue operations. Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) community agrees with the fact that the operator skill is the main factor for successfully using unmanned robotic platforms. The key training concept is "train as you fight" mentality. Intervention troops focalize on "real training", as a crisis is difficult to simulate. For this reason, in this paper a methodology of training and support for USAR with unmanned vehicles is proposed. The methodology integrates the Qualitative Spatio-Temporal Representation and Reasoning (QSTRR) framework with USAR tools to decrease the cognitive load on human operators working with sophisticated robotic platforms. Tools for simplifying and improving virtual training environment generation from life data are shown},
    project = {ICARUS},
    url = {https://www.thinkmind.org/download.php?articleid=icas_2013_3_40_20054},
    }

  • G. De Cubber, “ICARUS Consortium – Providing Unmanned Search and Rescue Tools," in Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems – The Global Perspective – Yearbook 2013/2014, Brussels, Belgium: Blyenburgh & co, 2013, vol. 11, p. 133–134.
    [BibTeX]
    @InCollection{de2013icarus,
    author = {De Cubber, Geert},
    booktitle = {Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems - The Global Perspective - Yearbook 2013/2014},
    publisher = {Blyenburgh \& co},
    title = {{ICARUS} Consortium - Providing Unmanned Search and Rescue Tools},
    year = {2013},
    pages = {133--134},
    address = {Brussels, Belgium},
    project = {ICARUS},
    volume = {11},
    }

  • G. De Cubber and H. Sahli, “Augmented Lagrangian-based approach for dense three-dimensional structure and motion estimation from binocular image sequences," IET Computer Vision, 2013.
    [BibTeX] [Abstract] [Download PDF] [DOI]

    In this study, the authors propose a framework for stereo–motion integration for dense depth estimation. They formulate the stereo–motion depth reconstruction problem into a constrained minimisation one. A sequential unconstrained minimisation technique, namely, the augmented Lagrange multiplier (ALM) method has been implemented to address the resulting constrained optimisation problem. ALM has been chosen because of its relative insensitivity to whether the initial design points for a pseudo-objective function are feasible or not. The development of the method and results from solving the stereo–motion integration problem are presented. Although the authors work is not the only one adopting the ALMs framework in the computer vision context, to thier knowledge the presented algorithm is the first to use this mathematical framework in a context of stereo–motion integration. This study describes how the stereo–motion integration problem was cast in a mathematical context and solved using the presented ALM method. Results on benchmark and real visual input data show the validity of the approach.

    @Article{de2013augmented,
    author = {De Cubber, Geert and Sahli, Hichem},
    journal = {IET Computer Vision},
    title = {Augmented Lagrangian-based approach for dense three-dimensional structure and motion estimation from binocular image sequences},
    year = {2013},
    abstract = {In this study, the authors propose a framework for stereo–motion integration for dense depth estimation. They formulate the stereo–motion depth reconstruction problem into a constrained minimisation one. A sequential unconstrained minimisation technique, namely, the augmented Lagrange multiplier (ALM) method has been implemented to address the resulting constrained optimisation problem. ALM has been chosen because of its relative insensitivity to whether the initial design points for a pseudo-objective function are feasible or not. The development of the method and results from solving the stereo–motion integration problem are presented. Although the authors work is not the only one adopting the ALMs framework in the computer vision context, to thier knowledge the presented algorithm is the first to use this mathematical framework in a context of stereo–motion integration. This study describes how the stereo–motion integration problem was cast in a mathematical context and solved using the presented ALM method. Results on benchmark and real visual input data show the validity of the approach.},
    doi = {10.1049/iet-cvi.2013.0017},
    publisher = {IET Digital Library},
    project = {ICARUS,ViewFinder,Mobiniss},
    url = {https://digital-library.theiet.org/content/journals/10.1049/iet-cvi.2013.0017},
    }

  • H. Balta, G. De Cubber, D. Doroftei, Y. Baudoin, and H. Sahli, “Terrain traversability analysis for off-road robots using time-of-flight 3d sensing," in 7th IARP International Workshop on Robotics for Risky Environment-Extreme Robotics, Saint-Petersburg, Russia, 2013.
    [BibTeX] [Abstract] [Download PDF]

    In this paper we present a terrain traversability analysis methodology which classifies all image pixels in the TOF image as traversable or not, by estimating for each pixel a traversability score which is based upon the analysis of the 3D (depth data) and 2D (IR data) content of the TOF camera data. This classification result is then used for the (semi) – autonomous navigation of two robotic systems, operating in extreme environments: a search and rescue robot and a humanitarian demining robot. Integrated in autonomous robot control architecture, terrain traversability classification increases the environmental situational awareness and enables a mobile robot to navigate (semi) – autonomously in an unstructured dynamical outdoor environment.

    @InProceedings{balta2013terrain,
    author = {Balta, Haris and De Cubber, Geert and Doroftei, Daniela and Baudoin, Yvan and Sahli, Hichem},
    booktitle = {7th IARP International Workshop on Robotics for Risky Environment-Extreme Robotics},
    title = {Terrain traversability analysis for off-road robots using time-of-flight 3d sensing},
    year = {2013},
    abstract = {In this paper we present a terrain traversability analysis methodology which classifies all image pixels in the TOF image as traversable or not, by estimating for each pixel a traversability score which is based upon the analysis of the 3D (depth data) and 2D (IR data) content of the TOF camera data. This classification result is then used for the (semi) – autonomous navigation of two robotic systems, operating in extreme environments: a search and rescue robot and a humanitarian demining robot. Integrated in autonomous robot control architecture, terrain traversability classification increases the environmental situational awareness and enables a mobile robot to navigate (semi) – autonomously in an unstructured dynamical outdoor environment.},
    project = {ICARUS},
    address = {Saint-Petersburg, Russia},
    url = {http://mecatron.rma.ac.be/pub/2013/Terrain Traversability Analysis ver 4-HS.pdf},
    }

  • Y. Baudoin and G. De Cubber, “TIRAMISU-ICARUS: FP7-Projects Challenges for Robotics Systems," in 7th IARP Workshop on Robotics for Risky Environment – Extreme Robotics, Saint-Petersburg, Russia, 2013, p. 55–69.
    [BibTeX] [Abstract] [Download PDF]

    TIRAMISU: Clearing large civilian areas from anti-personnel landmines and cluster munitions is a difficult problem because of the large diversity of hazardous areas and explosive contamination. A single solution does not exist and many Mine Action actors have called for a toolbox from which they could choose the tools best fit to a given situation. Some have built their own toolboxes, usually specific to their activities, such as clearance. The TIRAMISU project aims at providing the foundation for a global toolbox that will cover the main Mine Action activities, from the survey of large areas to the actual disposal of explosive hazards, including Mine Risk Education. The toolbox produced by the project will provide Mine Action actors with a large set of tools, grouped into thematic modules, which will help them to better perform their job. These tools will have been designed with the help of end-users and validated by them in mine affected countries. ICARUS: Recent dramatic events such as the earthquakes in Haiti and L’Aquila or the flooding in Pakistan have shown that local civil authorities and emergency services have difficulties with adequately managing crises. The result is that these crises lead to major disruption of the whole local society. The goal of ICARUS is to decrease the total cost (both in human lives and in euro) of a major crisis. In order to realise this goal, the ICARUS project proposes to equip first responders with a comprehensive and integrated set of unmanned search and rescue tools, to increase the situational awareness of human crisis managers and to assist search and rescue teams for dealing with the difficult and dangerous, but life-saving task of finding human survivors. As every crisis is different, it is impossible to provide one solution which fits all needs. Therefore, the ICARUS project will concentrate on developing components or building blocks that can be directly used by the crisis managers when arriving on the field. The ICARUS tools consist of assistive unmanned air, ground and sea vehicles, equipped with human detection sensors. The ICARUS unmanned vehicles are intended as the first explorers of the area, as well as in-situ supporters to act as safeguards to human personnel. The unmanned vehicles collaborate as a coordinated team, communicating via ad hoc cognitive radionetworking. To ensure optimal human-robot collaboration, these ICARUS tools are seamlessly integrated into the C4I equipment of the human crisis managers and a set of training and support tools is provided to the human crisis to learn to use the ICARUS system.

    @InProceedings{baudoin2013tiramisu,
    author = {Baudoin, Yvan and De Cubber, Geert},
    booktitle = {7th IARP Workshop on Robotics for Risky Environment - Extreme Robotics},
    title = {{TIRAMISU-ICARUS}: {FP7}-Projects Challenges for Robotics Systems},
    year = {2013},
    pages = {55--69},
    address = {Saint-Petersburg, Russia},
    abstract = {TIRAMISU: Clearing large civilian areas from anti-personnel landmines and cluster munitions is a difficult problem because of the large diversity of hazardous areas and explosive contamination. A single solution does not exist and many Mine Action actors have called for a toolbox from which they could choose the tools best fit to a given situation. Some have built their own toolboxes, usually specific to their activities, such as clearance. The TIRAMISU project aims at providing the foundation for a global toolbox that will cover the main Mine Action activities, from the survey of large areas to the actual disposal of explosive hazards, including Mine Risk Education. The toolbox produced by the project will provide Mine Action actors with a large set of tools, grouped into thematic modules, which will help them to better perform their job. These tools will have been designed with the help of end-users and validated by them in mine affected countries.
    ICARUS: Recent dramatic events such as the earthquakes in Haiti and L’Aquila or the flooding in Pakistan have shown that local civil authorities and emergency services have difficulties with adequately managing crises. The result is that these crises lead to major disruption of the whole local society. The goal of ICARUS is to decrease the total cost (both in human lives and in euro) of a major crisis. In order to realise this goal, the ICARUS project proposes to equip first responders with a comprehensive and integrated set of unmanned search and rescue tools, to increase the situational awareness of human crisis managers and to assist search and rescue teams for dealing with the difficult and dangerous, but life-saving task of finding human survivors. As every crisis is different, it is impossible to provide one solution which fits all needs. Therefore, the ICARUS project will concentrate on developing components or building blocks that can be directly used by the crisis managers when arriving on the field. The ICARUS tools consist of assistive unmanned air, ground and sea vehicles, equipped with human detection sensors. The ICARUS unmanned vehicles are intended as the first explorers of the area, as well as in-situ supporters to act as safeguards to human personnel. The unmanned vehicles collaborate as a coordinated team, communicating via ad hoc cognitive radionetworking. To ensure optimal human-robot collaboration, these ICARUS tools are seamlessly integrated into the C4I equipment of the human crisis managers and a set of training and support tools is provided to the human crisis to learn to use the ICARUS system.},
    project = {ICARUS, TIRAMISU},
    url = {http://mecatron.rma.ac.be/pub/2013/KN Paper YB.pdf},
    }

  • G. De Cubber, D. Doroftei, D. Serrano, K. Chintamani, R. Sabino, and S. Ourevitch, “The EU-ICARUS project: developing assistive robotic tools for search and rescue operations," in 2013 IEEE international symposium on safety, security, and rescue robotics (SSRR), Linkoping, Sweden, 2013, p. 1–4.
    [BibTeX] [Abstract] [Download PDF] [DOI]

    The ICARUS EU-FP7 project deals with the development of a set of integrated components to assist search and rescue teams in dealing with the difficult and dangerous, but lifesaving task of finding human survivors. The ICARUS tools consist of assistive unmanned air, ground and sea vehicles, equipped with victim detection sensors. The unmanned vehicles collaborate as a coordinated team, communicating via ad-hoc cognitive radio networking. To ensure optimal human-robot collaboration, these tools are seamlessly integrated into the C4I (command, control, communications, computers, and intelligence) equipment of the human crisis managers and a set of training and support tools is provided to them to learn to use the ICARUS system.

    @InProceedings{de2013eu,
    author = {De Cubber, Geert and Doroftei, Daniela and Serrano, Daniel and Chintamani, Keshav and Sabino, Rui and Ourevitch, Stephane},
    booktitle = {2013 IEEE international symposium on safety, security, and rescue robotics (SSRR)},
    title = {The {EU-ICARUS} project: developing assistive robotic tools for search and rescue operations},
    year = {2013},
    organization = {IEEE},
    pages = {1--4},
    address = {Linkoping, Sweden},
    abstract = {The ICARUS EU-FP7 project deals with the development of a set of integrated components to assist search and rescue teams in dealing with the difficult and dangerous, but lifesaving task of finding human survivors. The ICARUS tools consist of assistive unmanned air, ground and sea vehicles, equipped with victim detection sensors. The unmanned vehicles collaborate as a coordinated team, communicating via ad-hoc cognitive radio networking. To ensure optimal human-robot collaboration, these tools are seamlessly integrated into the C4I (command, control, communications, computers, and intelligence) equipment of the human crisis managers and a set of training and support tools is provided to them to learn to use the ICARUS system.},
    doi = {10.1109/ssrr.2013.6719323},
    project = {ICARUS},
    url = {http://mecatron.rma.ac.be/pub/2013/SSRR2013_ICARUS.pdf},
    }

  • S. Govindaraj, K. Chintamani, J. Gancet, P. Letier, B. van Lierde, Y. Nevatia, G. D. Cubber, D. Serrano, M. E. Palomares, J. Bedkowski, C. Armbrust, J. Sanchez, A. Coelho, and I. Orbe, “The ICARUS project – Command, Control and Intelligence (C2I)," in 2013 IEEE International Symposium on Safety, Security, and Rescue Robotics (SSRR), Linkoping, Sweden, 2013, p. 1–4.
    [BibTeX] [Abstract] [Download PDF] [DOI]

    This paper describes the features and concepts behind the Command, Control and Intelligence (C2I) system under development in the ICARUS project, which aims at improving crisis management with the use of unmanned search and rescue robotic appliances embedded and integrated into existing infrastructures. A beneficial C2I system should assist the search and rescue process by enhancing first responder situational awareness, decision making and crisis handling by designing intuitive user interfaces that convey detailed and extensive information about the crisis and its evolution. The different components of C2I, their architectural and functional aspects are described along with the robot platform used for development and field testing.

    @InProceedings{govindaraj2013icarus,
    author = {Shashank Govindaraj and Keshav Chintamani and Jeremi Gancet and Pierre Letier and Boris van Lierde and Yashodhan Nevatia and Geert De Cubber and Daniel Serrano and Miguel Esbri Palomares and Janusz Bedkowski and Christopher Armbrust and Jose Sanchez and Antonio Coelho and Iratxe Orbe},
    booktitle = {2013 {IEEE} International Symposium on Safety, Security, and Rescue Robotics ({SSRR})},
    title = {The {ICARUS} project - Command, Control and Intelligence (C2I)},
    year = {2013},
    month = oct,
    organization = {IEEE},
    address = {Linkoping, Sweden},
    pages = {1--4},
    publisher = {{IEEE}},
    abstract = {This paper describes the features and concepts behind the Command, Control and Intelligence (C2I) system under development in the ICARUS project, which aims at improving crisis management with the use of unmanned search and rescue robotic appliances embedded and integrated into existing infrastructures. A beneficial C2I system should assist the search and rescue process by enhancing first responder situational awareness, decision making and crisis handling by designing intuitive user interfaces that convey detailed and extensive information about the crisis and its evolution. The different components of C2I, their architectural and functional aspects are described along with the robot platform used for development and field testing.},
    doi = {10.1109/ssrr.2013.6719356},
    project = {ICARUS},
    url = {http://mecatron.rma.ac.be/pub/2013/Govindaraj_SSRR_WS_Paper_V2.0.pdf},
    }

  • H. Balta, S. Rossi, S. Iengo, B. Siciliano, A. Finzi, and G. De Cubber, “Adaptive behavior-based control for robot navigation: A multi-robot case study," in 2013 XXIV International Conference on Information, Communication and Automation Technologies (ICAT), Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, 2013, p. 1–7.
    [BibTeX] [Abstract] [Download PDF] [DOI]

    The main focus of the work presented in this paper is to investigate the application of certain biologically-inspired control strategies in the field of autonomous mobile robots, with particular emphasis on multi-robot navigation systems. The control architecture used in this work is based on the behavior-based approach. The main argument in favor of this approach is its impressive and rapid practical success. This powerful methodology has demonstrated simplicity, parallelism, perception-action mapping and real implementation. When a group of autonomous mobile robots needs to achieve a goal operating in complex dynamic environments, such a task involves high computational complexity and a large volume of data needed for continuous monitoring of internal states and the external environment. Most autonomous mobile robots have limited capabilities in computation power or energy sources with limited capability, such as batteries. Therefore, it becomes necessary to build additional mechanisms on top of the control architecture able to efficiently allocate resources for enhancing the performance of an autonomous mobile robot. For this purpose, it is necessary to build an adaptive behavior-based control system focused on sensory adaptation. This adaptive property will assure efficient use of robot’s limited sensorial and cognitive resources. The proposed adaptive behavior-based control system is then validated through simulation in a multi-robot environment with a task of prey/predator scenario.

    @InProceedings{balta2013adaptive,
    author = {Balta, Haris and Rossi, Silvia and Iengo, Salvatore and Siciliano, Bruno and Finzi, Alberto and De Cubber, Geert},
    booktitle = {2013 XXIV International Conference on Information, Communication and Automation Technologies (ICAT)},
    title = {Adaptive behavior-based control for robot navigation: A multi-robot case study},
    year = {2013},
    organization = {IEEE},
    pages = {1--7},
    abstract = {The main focus of the work presented in this paper is to investigate the application of certain biologically-inspired control strategies in the field of autonomous mobile robots, with particular emphasis on multi-robot navigation systems. The control architecture used in this work is based on the behavior-based approach. The main argument in favor of this approach is its impressive and rapid practical success. This powerful methodology has demonstrated simplicity, parallelism, perception-action mapping and real implementation. When a group of autonomous mobile robots needs to achieve a goal operating in complex dynamic environments, such a task involves high computational complexity and a large volume of data needed for continuous monitoring of internal states and the external environment. Most autonomous mobile robots have limited capabilities in computation power or energy sources with limited capability, such as batteries. Therefore, it becomes necessary to build additional mechanisms on top of the control architecture able to efficiently allocate resources for enhancing the performance of an autonomous mobile robot. For this purpose, it is necessary to build an adaptive behavior-based control system focused on sensory adaptation. This adaptive property will assure efficient use of robot's limited sensorial and cognitive resources. The proposed adaptive behavior-based control system is then validated through simulation in a multi-robot environment with a task of prey/predator scenario.},
    doi = {10.1109/icat.2013.6684083},
    address = {Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina},
    project = {ICARUS},
    url = {https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/6684083?tp=&arnumber=6684083},
    }

  • H. Balta, G. De Cubber, and D. Doroftei, “Increasing Situational Awareness through Outdoor Robot Terrain Traversability Analysis based on Time- Of-Flight Camera," in Spring School on Developmental Robotics and Cognitive Bootstrapping, Athens, Greeca: , 2013, vol. 1, p. 8.
    [BibTeX] [Abstract]

    Poster paper

    @InCollection{balta2013increasing,
    author = {Balta, Haris and De Cubber, Geert and Doroftei, Daniela},
    booktitle = {Spring School on Developmental Robotics and Cognitive Bootstrapping},
    title = {Increasing Situational Awareness through Outdoor Robot Terrain Traversability Analysis based on Time- Of-Flight Camera},
    year = {2013},
    number = {Developmental Robotics and Cognitive Bootstrapping},
    pages = {8},
    volume = {1},
    abstract = {Poster paper},
    address = {Athens, Greeca},
    project = {ICARUS},
    }

  • G. De Cubber, D. Serrano, K. Berns, K. Chintamani, R. Sabino, S. Ourevitch, D. Doroftei, C. Armbrust, T. Flamma, and Y. Baudoin, “Search and rescue robots developed by the European Icarus project," in 7th Int Workshop on Robotics for Risky Environments, Saint – Petersburg, Russia, 2013.
    [BibTeX] [Abstract] [Download PDF]

    This paper discusses the efforts of the European ICARUS project towards the development of unmanned search and rescue (SAR) robots. ICARUS project proposes to equip first responders with a comprehensive and integrated set of remotely operated SAR tools, to increase the situational awareness of human crisis managers. In the event of large crises, a primordial task of the fire and rescue services is the search for human survivors on the incident site, which is a complex and dangerous task. The introduction of remotely operated SAR devices can offer a valuable tool to save human lives and to speed up the SAR process. Therefore, ICARUS concentrates on the development of unmanned SAR technologies for detecting, locating and rescuing humans. The remotely operated SAR devices are foreseen to be the first explorers of the area, along with in-situ supporters to act as safeguards to human personnel. While the ICARUS project also considers the development of marine and aerial robots, this paper will mostly concentrate on the development of the unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs) for SAR. Two main UGV platforms are being developed within the context of the project: a large UGV including a powerful arm for manipulation, which is able to make structural changes in disaster scenarios. The large UGV also serves as a base platform for a small UGV (and possibly also a UAV), which is used for entering small enclosures, while searching for human survivors. In order not to increase the cognitive load of the human crisis managers, the SAR robots will be designed to navigate individually or cooperatively and to follow high-level instructions from the base station, being able to navigate in an autonomous and semi-autonomous manner. The robots connect to the base station and to each other using a wireless self-organizing cognitive network of mobile communication nodes which adapts to the terrain. The SAR robots are equipped with sensors that detect the presence of humans and will also be equipped with a wide array of other types of sensors. At the base station, the data is processed and combined with geographical information, thus enhancing the situational awareness of the personnel leading the operation with in-situ processed data that can improve decision-making.

    @InProceedings{de2013search,
    author = {De Cubber, Geert and Serrano, Daniel and Berns, Karsten and Chintamani, Keshav and Sabino, Rui and Ourevitch, Stephane and Doroftei, Daniela and Armbrust, Christopher and Flamma, Tommasso and Baudoin, Yvan},
    booktitle = {7th Int Workshop on Robotics for Risky Environments},
    title = {Search and rescue robots developed by the {European} {Icarus} project},
    year = {2013},
    abstract = {This paper discusses the efforts of the European ICARUS project towards the development of unmanned search and rescue (SAR) robots. ICARUS project proposes to equip first responders with a comprehensive and integrated set of remotely operated SAR tools, to increase the situational awareness of human crisis managers. In the event of large crises, a primordial task of the fire and rescue services is the search for human survivors on the incident site, which is a complex and dangerous task. The introduction of remotely operated SAR devices can offer a valuable tool to save human lives and to speed up the SAR process. Therefore, ICARUS concentrates on the development of unmanned SAR technologies for detecting, locating and rescuing humans. The remotely operated SAR devices are foreseen to be the first explorers of the area, along with in-situ supporters to act as safeguards to human personnel. While the ICARUS project also considers the development of marine and aerial robots, this paper will mostly concentrate on the development of the unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs) for SAR. Two main UGV platforms are being developed within the context of the project: a large UGV including a powerful arm for manipulation, which is able to make structural changes in disaster scenarios. The large UGV also serves as a base platform for a small UGV (and possibly also a UAV), which is used for entering small enclosures, while searching for human survivors. In order not to increase the cognitive load of the human crisis managers, the SAR robots will be designed to navigate individually or cooperatively and to follow high-level instructions from the base station, being able to navigate in an autonomous and semi-autonomous manner. The robots connect to the base station and to each other using a wireless self-organizing cognitive network of mobile communication nodes which adapts to the terrain. The SAR robots are equipped with sensors that detect the presence of humans and will also be equipped with a wide array of other types of sensors. At the base station, the data is processed and
    combined with geographical information, thus enhancing the situational awareness of the personnel leading the operation with in-situ processed data that can improve decision-making.},
    project = {ICARUS},
    address = {Saint - Petersburg, Russia},
    url = {http://mecatron.rma.ac.be/pub/2013/Search and Rescue robots developed by the European ICARUS project - Article.pdf},
    }

2012

  • J. B{k{e}}dkowski, A. Mas{l}owski, and G. De Cubber, “Real time 3D localization and mapping for USAR robotic application," Industrial Robot: An International Journal, vol. 39, iss. 5, p. 464–474, 2012.
    [BibTeX] [DOI]
    @Article{bkedkowski2012real,
    author = {B{\k{e}}dkowski, Janusz and Mas{\l}owski, Andrzej and De Cubber, Geert},
    journal = {Industrial Robot: An International Journal},
    title = {Real time {3D} localization and mapping for {USAR} robotic application},
    year = {2012},
    number = {5},
    pages = {464--474},
    volume = {39},
    doi = {10.1108/01439911211249751},
    project = {ICARUS},
    publisher = {Emerald Group Publishing Limited},
    }

  • G. De Cubber, D. Doroftei, Y. Baudoin, D. Serrano, K. Chintamani, R. Sabino, and S. Ourevitch, “ICARUS : Providing Unmanned Search and Rescue Tools," in 6th IARP Workshop on Risky Interventions and Environmental Surveillance (RISE), Warsaw, Poland, 2012.
    [BibTeX] [Abstract] [Download PDF]

    The ICARUS EU-FP7 project deals with the development of a set of integrated components to assist search and rescue teams in dealing with the difficult and dangerous, but life-saving task of finding human survivors. The ICARUS tools consist of assistive unmanned air, ground and sea vehicles, equipped with victim detection sensors. The unmanned vehicles collaborate as a coordinated team, communicating via ad hoccognitive radio networking. To ensure optimal human-robot collaboration, these tools are seamlessly integrated into the C4I equipment of the human crisis managers and a set of training and support tools is provided to them to learn to use the ICARUS system.

    @InProceedings{de2012icarus01,
    author = {De Cubber, Geert and Doroftei, Daniela and Baudoin, Yvan and Serrano, Daniel and Chintamani, Keshav and Sabino, Rui and Ourevitch, Stephane},
    booktitle = {6th IARP Workshop on Risky Interventions and Environmental Surveillance (RISE)},
    title = {{ICARUS} : Providing Unmanned Search and Rescue Tools},
    year = {2012},
    abstract = {The ICARUS EU-FP7 project deals with the development of a set of integrated components to assist search and rescue teams in dealing with the difficult and dangerous, but life-saving task of finding human survivors. The ICARUS tools consist of assistive unmanned air, ground and sea vehicles, equipped with victim detection sensors. The unmanned vehicles collaborate as a coordinated team, communicating via ad hoccognitive radio networking. To ensure optimal human-robot collaboration, these tools are seamlessly integrated into the C4I equipment of the human crisis managers and a set of training and support tools is provided to them to learn to use the ICARUS system.},
    project = {ICARUS},
    address = {Warsaw, Poland},
    url = {http://mecatron.rma.ac.be/pub/2012/RISE2012_ICARUS.pdf},
    }

  • D. Doroftei, G. De Cubber, and K. Chintamani, “Towards collaborative human and robotic rescue workers," in 5th International Workshop on Human-Friendly Robotics (HFR2012), Brussels, Belgium, 2012, p. 18–19.
    [BibTeX] [Abstract] [Download PDF]

    This paper discusses some of the main remaining bottlenecks towards the successful introduction of robotic search and rescue (SAR) tools, collaborating with human rescue workers. It also sketches some of the recent advances which are being made to in the context of the European ICARUS project to get rid of these bottlenecks.

    @InProceedings{doroftei2012towards,
    author = {Doroftei, Daniela and De Cubber, Geert and Chintamani, Keshav},
    booktitle = {5th International Workshop on Human-Friendly Robotics (HFR2012)},
    title = {Towards collaborative human and robotic rescue workers},
    year = {2012},
    pages = {18--19},
    abstract = {This paper discusses some of the main remaining bottlenecks towards the successful introduction of robotic search and rescue (SAR) tools, collaborating with human rescue workers. It also sketches some of the recent advances which are being made to in the context of the European ICARUS project to get rid of these bottlenecks.},
    project = {ICARUS},
    address = {Brussels, Belgium},
    url = {http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.303.6697&rep=rep1&type=pdf},
    }

  • A. Conduraru, I. Conduraru, E. Puscalau, G. De Cubber, D. Doroftei, and H. Balta, “Development of an autonomous rough-terrain robot," in IROS2012 Workshop on Robots and Sensors integration in future rescue INformation system (ROSIN’12), Villamoura, Portugal, 2012.
    [BibTeX] [Abstract] [Download PDF]

    In this paper, we discuss the development process of a mobile robot intended for environmental observation applications. The paper describes how a standard tele-operated Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) robot was upgraded with electronics, sensors, computing power and autonomous capabilities, such that it becomes able to execute semi-autonomous missions, e.g. for search & rescue or humanitarian demining tasks. The aim of this paper is not to discuss the details of the navigation algorithms (as these are often task-dependent), but more to concentrate on the development of the platform and its control architecture as a whole.

    @InProceedings{conduraru2012development,
    author = {Conduraru, Alina and Conduraru, Ionel and Puscalau, Emanuel and De Cubber, Geert and Doroftei, Daniela and Balta, Haris},
    booktitle = {IROS2012 Workshop on Robots and Sensors integration in future rescue INformation system (ROSIN'12)},
    title = {Development of an autonomous rough-terrain robot},
    year = {2012},
    abstract = {In this paper, we discuss the development process of a mobile robot intended for environmental observation applications. The paper describes how a standard tele-operated Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) robot was upgraded with electronics, sensors, computing power and autonomous capabilities, such that it becomes able to execute semi-autonomous missions, e.g. for search & rescue or humanitarian demining tasks. The aim of this paper is not to discuss the details of the navigation algorithms (as these are often task-dependent), but more to concentrate on the development of the platform and its control architecture as a whole.},
    project = {ICARUS},
    address = {Villamoura, Portugal},
    url = {https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/884e/6a80c8768044a1fd68ee91f45f17e5125153.pdf},
    }

  • G. De Cubber, D. Doroftei, Y. Baudoin, D. Serrano, K. Chintamani, R. Sabino, and S. Ourevitch, “Operational RPAS scenarios envisaged for search & rescue by the EU FP7 ICARUS project," in Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems for Civil Operations (RPAS2012), Brussels, Belgium, 2012.
    [BibTeX] [Abstract] [Download PDF]

    The ICARUS EU-FP7 project deals with the development of a set of integrated components to assist search and rescue teams in dealing with the difficult and dangerous, but life-saving task of finding human survivors. The ICARUS tools consist of assistive unmanned air, ground and sea vehicles, equipped with victim detection sensors. The unmanned vehicles collaborate as a coordinated team, communicating via ad hoc cognitive radio networking. To ensure optimal human-robot collaboration, these tools are seamlessly integrated into the C4I equipment of the human crisis managers and a set of training and support tools is provided to them to learn to use the ICARUS system.

    @InProceedings{de2012operational,
    author = {De Cubber, Geert and Doroftei, Daniela and Baudoin, Yvan and Serrano, Daniel and Chintamani, Keshav and Sabino, Rui and Ourevitch, Stephane},
    booktitle = {Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems for Civil Operations (RPAS2012)},
    title = {Operational {RPAS} scenarios envisaged for search \& rescue by the {EU FP7 ICARUS} project},
    year = {2012},
    abstract = {The ICARUS EU-FP7 project deals with the development of a set of integrated components to assist search and rescue teams in dealing with the difficult and dangerous, but life-saving task of finding human survivors. The ICARUS tools consist of assistive unmanned air, ground and sea vehicles, equipped with victim detection sensors. The unmanned vehicles collaborate as a coordinated team, communicating via ad hoc cognitive radio networking. To ensure optimal human-robot collaboration, these tools are seamlessly integrated into the C4I equipment of the human crisis managers and a set of training and support tools is provided to them to learn to use the ICARUS system.},
    project = {ICARUS},
    address = {Brussels, Belgium},
    url = {http://mecatron.rma.ac.be/pub/2012/De-Cubber-Geert_RMA_Belgium_WP.pdf},
    }

  • J. B{k{e}}dkowski, G. De Cubber, and A. Mas{l}owski, “6D SLAM with GPGPU computation," Pomiary Automatyka Robotyka, vol. 16, iss. 2, p. 275–280, 2012.
    [BibTeX] [Abstract] [Download PDF]

    The main goal was to improve a state of the art 6D SLAM algorithm with a new GPGPU-based implementation of data registration module. Data registration is based on ICP (Iterative Closest Point) algorithm that is fully implemented in the GPU with NVIDIA FERMI architecture. In our research we focus on mobile robot inspection intervention systems applicable in hazardous environments. The goal is to deliver a complete system capable of being used in real life. In this paper we demonstrate our achievements in the field of on line robot localization and mapping. We demonstrated an experiment in real large environment. We compared two strategies of data alingment – simple ICP and ICP using so called meta scan.

    @Article{bkedkowski20126d,
    author = {B{\k{e}}dkowski, Janusz and De Cubber, Geert and Mas{\l}owski, Andrzej},
    journal = {Pomiary Automatyka Robotyka},
    title = {{6D SLAM} with {GPGPU} computation},
    year = {2012},
    number = {2},
    pages = {275--280},
    volume = {16},
    project = {ICARUS},
    abstract = {The main goal was to improve a state of the art 6D SLAM algorithm with a new GPGPU-based implementation of data registration module. Data registration is based on ICP (Iterative Closest Point) algorithm that is fully implemented in the GPU with NVIDIA FERMI architecture. In our research we focus on mobile robot inspection intervention systems applicable in hazardous environments. The goal is to deliver a complete system capable of being used in real life. In this paper we demonstrate our achievements in the field of on line robot localization and mapping. We demonstrated an experiment in real large environment. We compared two strategies of data alingment - simple ICP and ICP using so called meta scan.},
    url = {http://www.par.pl/en/content/download/14036/170476/file/275_280.pdf},
    }

  • G. De Cubber, D. Doroftei, Y. Baudoin, D. Serrano, K. Chintamani, R. Sabino, and S. Ourevitch, “ICARUS: AN EU-FP7 PROJECT PROVIDING UNMANNED SEARCH AND RESCUE TOOLS," in IROS2012 Workshop on Robots and Sensors integration in future rescue INformation system (ROSIN’12), Villamoura, Portugal, 2012.
    [BibTeX] [Abstract] [Download PDF]

    Overview of the objectives of the ICARUS project

    @InProceedings{de2012icarus02,
    author = {De Cubber, Geert and Doroftei, Daniela and Baudoin, Y and Serrano, D and Chintamani, K and Sabino, R and Ourevitch, S},
    booktitle = {IROS2012 Workshop on Robots and Sensors integration in future rescue INformation system (ROSIN'12)},
    title = {{ICARUS}: AN {EU-FP7} PROJECT PROVIDING UNMANNED SEARCH AND RESCUE TOOLS},
    year = {2012},
    abstract = {Overview of the objectives of the ICARUS project},
    project = {ICARUS},
    address = {Villamoura, Portugal},
    url = {http://mecatron.rma.ac.be/pub/2012/Icarus - ROSIN2012 Presentation.pdf},
    }