PROTOTYPE OF A RESCUE AND BOMB DISPOSAL ROBOT - RESCUER
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Today numerous companies from around the world manufacture robots for use
in military, bomb disposal (Figure 1), and surveillance applications. The sizes of
these robots can vary from as small as a shoebox to as large as a teleoperated tank.
Control and traction methods vary considerably. Some are controlled by radio
frequency while others use fibre optic or coax cable. Traction methods vary from
multiple-track tank-like treads to multi-wheel combinations.
Currently the bomb disposal robots are focused mostly on the possibility to grasp
simpleshape rigid objects and to transport them to a disposal place, or to disrupt the
threat on-site. They all have single manipulator arm with a two jaw gripper, a vision
system limited to mo notype view of the target area and joystick control of the robots
motion and handling. The rescue robots are generally of observation type. Only a few
commercial rescue robots are equipped with manipulators, which are similar to the
bomb disposal robots. Half of the IEOD/EOD and rescue missions fail due to the
improper technical capabilities of the applied mechatronic systems.
Definition of the structure of the mobile robotic bomb disposal and rescue system and its main components
The RESCUER project is focused on the design and development of a system
that will lead to improvement of the emergency risk management through secure
mobile mechatronic support to bomb disposal and rescue operations. This
multidisciplinary task requires integration of equipment, software and knowledge of
different origin and purpose. In general they can be divided into three main
subsystems – the mobile mechatronic unit, the mobile control unit (MCU) and the
emergency risk management monitoring and advising system (ERMMAS). Each of
these components in certain conditions has the ability to work as a stand alone
system, but only their symbiosis can guarantee the success of RESCUER’s mission.
The mobile mechatronic unit is RESCUER’s main instrument. It is the human
rescuers’ hands and sense. Through it the human operators it is able to see, estimate
and manipulate the risk source. We can call the mobile mechatronic unit an
intelligent telecontrolled robot. This robot participates like human rescuer in missions
that are potentially dangerous for the specialist’s life and health. Its unique set of two
dexterous arms and grippers improves significantly the remote risk treatment and
reduces to minimum the pressure on the civil protection personnel.
The RESCUER project focuses on both (a) the development of an intelligent
mechatronic Emergency Risk Management tool and (b) on the associated Information
and Communication Technology. Testing will be performed in Explosive Ordnance
Disposal (EOD), Improvised Explosive Device Disposal (IEDD), and Civil
Protection Rescue Mission scenarios.