Frequency of disasters such as earthquakes, tsunamis, typhoons, floods, etc. has increased significantly. Robots are expected as a useful countermeasure in emergency response (search and rescue, firefighting, information gathering), recovery (construction), and preparedness (inspection, repairment). We developed five types of robots for effective functions in extreme conditions of disasters in the ImPACT Tough Robotics Challenge of Japan Cabinet Office.
A serpentine robot, Active Scope Camera can move through cm gaps of rubble piles and levitate in the air to get over obstacles to search victims in debris.
In order to reduce the weight so that the small propelling force by the air jet works, multi-stage wrought magnesium alloy is used for the head unit, and a nozzle control mechanism is designed using deformation of a flexible tube.
Applying the technology of the Active Scope Camera, a flying extinguishing hose robot, Dragon Firefighter was developed. It flies by jets of water to intrude into buidlings for pin-point extinguishment of fire origins. It was demonstrated at the ImPACT TRC Evaluation Forum.
The project researched into flying robots, construction robots, legged robots, cyber rescue canines, serpentine robots (thick) with resulting in creation of various world firsts and world bests. An overview of the outcomes is summarized in a movie in the following.
ImPACT Tough Robotics Challenge Results:
Nishinoma, H. et al. (2019). Canine motion control using bright spotlight devices mounted on a suit, IEEE Transactions on Medical Robotics and Bionics, 1(3), 189-198, doi: 10.1109/TMRB.2019.2930343.
Mizuno, N. et al. (2019). Enhanced path smoothing based on conjugate gradient descent for firefighting robots in petrochemical complexes, Advanced Robotics, 33(14), 687-698, doi: 10.1080/01691864.2019.1632221.
Yamaguchi T. et al. (2019) A mechanical approach to suppress the oscillation of a long continuum robot flying with water jets, IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters, 4(4), 4346-4353, doi: 10.1109/LRA.2019.2932582.
Tadokoro S. et al. (2019). The World Robot Summit Disaster Robotics Category - Achievements of the 2018 preliminary competition, Advanced Robotics, 33(17), 854-875, doi: 10.1080/01691864.2019.1627244.
Tadokoro S. Ed. (2019). Disaster Robotics - Results from the ImPACT Tough Robotics Challenge, Springer Tracts in Advanced Robotics 128, doi: 10.1007/978-3-030-05321-5.