[robotics-worldwide] Call for Participants: IROS2007 WS on rescue robotics

Satoshi Tadokoro tadokoro at rm.is.tohoku.ac.jp
Tue Oct 2 03:45:11 PDT 2007

Dear Robotics Researchers

The following full-day workshop will be held at IROS2007.  Please
consider participation if you are interested in safety, security and
rescue robotics.

  Rescue Robotics - DDT Project on Urban Search and Rescue -
  October 29 (Monday), 2007
  IROS2007 Full-Day Workshop MW-3
  Sheraton Hotel and Marina, San Diego, USA


Invited Speech: Overview of Urban Search and Rescue Problem (tentative)
  Robin Murphy (Center of Robot Assisted Search and Rescue, University
    of South Florida)
DDT Project: Background and Overview
  Satoshi Tadokoro (International Rescue System Institute / Tohoku
Disaster Information Gathering by Aerial Robot Systems
  Masahiko Onosato (Hokkaido University)
Information Infrastructure for Rescue Systems
  Hajime Asama (The University of Tokyo)
In-Rubble Robot System for USAR Under Debris
  Koichi Osuka (Kobe University)
On-Rubble Robot System in DDT Project
  Fumitoshi Matsuno (The University of Electro-Communications)
Guidelines of Human Interface Design for Rescue Robots
  Yasuyoshi Yokokohji (Kyoto University)
Information Sharing and Integration Among Rescue Robots and Information Systems
  Itsuki Noda (AIST)
Experiments with First Responders -- Demonstrative Experiments and Trainings for Rescue Activities
  Takashi Tsubouchi (University of Tsukuba)

<<<Message from Organizers>>>

Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake killed more than 6,400 human lives in the
center of urban city of Kobe, Japan on the early morning of January 17,
1995. The rescue robots had been illusion in science fiction and had
fielded only in cartoon movies. Only few researchers had been developing
robots for urban search and rescue in the world at the moment of that
incidence. That situation meant that effective products would never been
invented even if we had waited 100 years, and that human lives would
never been saved by rescue robots for ever.

On the other hand, our investigation research at a committee in the
Robotics and Mechatronics Division of Japan Society of Mechanical
Engineers, which was organized just after the disaster, showed that
robotics would be highly effective in the disaster response and the
ability of responders would be drastically improved by long-term
research and development. In front of the rubble piles on the city-wide
scale, the members of thecommittee resolved that they should initiate an
effort for improving the situation and should try to develop something
one by one. That was a genesis of rescue robotics in Japan and many
researchers began to apply robotics and related technologies to the
search and rescue problem.

Japan is located in the area where huge earthquakes frequently attack.
The Headquarter for Earthquake Research Promotion of Ministry of
Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) forecasted
that the probability in this 30 years of Nankai-Tonankai Earthquake of
magnitude 8.5 would be 50-60%, and that of Miyagi Offshore Earthquake of
magnitude 7.5 would be 99%. It is estimated that the Nankai-Tonankai EQ
will kill 17,800 people, and wide area of Tokai, Kinki and Shikoku
districts will be absolutely devastated by the shake and tsunami.
Disasters such as in Smatra, of which tragedy was widely broadcasted on
TV, might attack us anytime and anywhere. Earthquake disaster is not a
past fact but one of the existing serious risks that would really happen.

Preparedness for such disasters is essential to minimize the number of
casualties.  All kinds of measures are necessary to improve the survival
rate, and advanced technologies such as robotics are expected their
contribution as one of the possible measures.

This workshop introduces the main results of DDT Project launched by
MEXT, of which officinal name is Special Project for Earthquake Disaster
Mitigation in Urban Areas, III Advanced Disaster Management System, 4
Development of Advanced Robots and Information Systems for Disaster
Response. This project was managed by a non-profit organization,
International Rescue System Institute (IRS), and more than hundreds of
robotics researchers and students across the nation have contributed for
five years in Japan's fiscal years of 2002 - 2006.

The objective of this project is practical development of technologies
related to robotics applied for earthquake disasters, i.e. robot systems,
intelligent sensors, information equipment, human interfaces, etc. which
support emergency response, such as urban search and rescue, especially
victim search, information gathering and communications. Typical
technologies are, for examples, teleoperated robots for victim search in
hazardous disaster area, and robotic systems with distributed sensors
for gathering disaster information to support human decision making.

This area of research is not restricted within so-called robotics. We
should consider wide-range of related technologies such as network-based
integration. The essential point is that the technology can contribute
to any enhancement of disaster response abilities.

IRS established two laboratories for this project. Kawasaki Laboratory
at Minami-Watarida, Kawasaki-Ward, Kawasaki City, Japan is located near
Tokyo, and Kobe Laboratory at Minatojima-Minami, Chuo-Ward, Kobe City is
in the Port Island. Verification fields such as Collapsed House
Simulation Facility were designed and fabricated in these laboratories.
A volunteer unit, IRS-U, was organized by firefighters on active duty. A
number of experiments, demonstrations and improving development have
been intensively performed with support of many organizations and
persons from industry-government-academia-private sectors including
Tokyo Fire Department (TFD), Kobe Fire Department (KobeFD), and
International Disaster Relief Team of Japan International Cooperation
Agency. Repetition of practical tests in real or realistic situation has
revealed nature of this problem and various unknown facts. This has
formed the basis of improvement of the systems developed.

The project aimed to show effectiveness in real or realistic fields and
to establish technologies applicable to real operation. This is the
definition of the word "practical" in the objective statement, because
most members are university researchers. However, in order for the
developed technologies are used in real fields of actual disasters, this
project tried any and all of efforts such as verification experiments
and trainings. The core researchers believe many of the research results
will be deployed or used in the near future.

The "rescue" has become an important research theme in robotics.
Researchers in this field believe that a new research area has been
created. On the other hand, only a small number of methodologies have
been tested in this project, and many possible technologies have not
been well investigated. This field has good future possibility, and
assiduous study will create more effective new fruits. In this way, the
newest technologies must becontinuously applied to the emergency
response problems, and this must become a technological trend. The
researchers hope that this project functionsas a step to this big stream
of technology to minimize the disaster damage in the world.

We deeply appreciate all the people and organizations that contributed
this project.


Satoshi Tadokoro, Tohoku University, Japan
Fumitoshi Matsuno, The University of Electro-Communications, Japan
Hajime Asama, The University of Tokyo
Koichi Osuka, Kobe University
MasahikoOnosato, Hokkaido University
IEEE Robotics and Automation, TC on Safety, Security and Rescue Robotics

Satoshi Tadokoro <tadokoro at rm.is.tohoku.ac.jp>
Professor, Graduate School of Information Sciences, Tohoku University
6-6-01 Aramaki Aza Aoba, Aoba-ku, Sendai 980-8579 Japan
Phone +81-22-795-7022  Fax +81-22-795-7023
田所 諭
東北大学大学院 情報科学研究科 応用情報科学専攻 教授
〒980-8579 宮城県仙台市青葉区荒巻字青葉6-6-01
Tel 022-795-7022  Fax 022-795-7023
Email tadokoro at rm.is.tohoku.ac.jp

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