Disaster response robots to discern between humans and rubble

Researchers have developed a new algorithm that allows robots to differentiate between humans and debris while carrying out search and rescue operations following a natural disaster.

PTI| Updated: Oct 28, 2014, 17:05 PM IST
Disaster response robots to discern between humans and rubble

Washington: Researchers have developed a new algorithm that allows robots to differentiate between humans and debris while carrying out search and rescue operations following a natural disaster.

Researchers from Mexico's University of Guadalajara (UDG) equipped a robot with motion sensors, cameras, a laser and infrared system to plot paths through an environment or create a 2D map.

The inclusion of a flashlight and stereoscopic HD camera allows the robot to obtain images of its environment and recognise if there are any people within it.

The robot uses the HD cameras to scan the surrounding area, before the images are cleaned up and patterns of interest are isolated from their surrounds, such as rubble, 'Gizmag' reported.

A descriptor system obtains the 3D points to segment, applying numerical values to the captured images that represent the shape, colour and density of the shapes.

The segments are then merged to create a new image that passes through a filter that determines whether it is a human silhouette or not.

The whole system can be integrated into the robot, or the algorithm run on a separate laptop and the robot controlled wirelessly.