Disaster Response Robot Quince

A disaster response robot, or search-and-rescue robot, is something that explores the inside of a building damaged by a disaster such as an earthquake instead of human responders. In our laboratory, we develop mechanisms that enable robots to traverse staircases and a bumpy ground, map-building technique using cameras and 3D laser scanners, and tele-operation assist which simplifies complex tele-operation by human.

Exploration Tracked Vehicle Kenaf

Kenaf can explore a building or an underground facility which is partially collapsed, or on unstable ground after a severe disaster. Kenaf can enter a target facility through a hole, approximately 60-cm in diameter, be operated via wireless communication from apart place which is not likely to affect by a secondary disaster, get over rubbles, and obtain color and thermo images of building, sounds, and 3D shapes.

RoboCup Rescue

RoboCup Rescue is a competition of searching simulated victims in simulated collapsed building by using tele-opearted or autonomous robots. The competition requires total integrity of rescue robot system with high mobility to over rubbles and steps, stable communication, easily maneuverable interface, robust mapping system, and high skilled operation.

Newcomers of Tadokoro Lab. organize team “G-Tan” to participate in the RoboCup Rescue 2013 Japan Open and World Open. The team G-Tan award overall champion and 1st place in best-in class mobility at the Japan Open, and 5th place and Commendation Innovation at the World Open.

Official website:http://www.robocuprescue.org/ 

Active Scope Camera

Our lab is conducting the research on improving the driving force of flexible cable robot by applying a new type actuation mechanism. In the past, the video scope camera was too flexible to pass the driving force to the front end so that it was difficult to insert deeply into narrow spaces. Also, due to lacking of the direction control ability, it could not move to the intended way. Through the proposed technology, we can solve the problem mentioned before and greatly expand the range of application of the robot. The availability for rescue use was confirmed through several experiments. Active scope camera won a highest award of director-general of Fire and Disaster Management Agency. 

Search and Rescue(SAR) Robo-dogs

Search and rescue (SAR) dogs are suitable for finding victims in disaster sites within 72 hours. However, in JAPAN, SAR dogs are not used in real rescue missions. One reason is lack of movie and data that show the efficiency of SAR dog’s investigation. Therefore, we aim to record the SAR dog’s investigation activities by using cameras, a GPS, and inertial measurement units (IMU) and visualize the activities.

Investigation of Infrastructure Damage by Using Micro Aerial Vehicle

There is difficulty for human workers to investigate the inside of damaged buildings, plumbing at high position in industrial plants, bridges or infrastructures. We have researched solutions for these social problems by using Micro Aerial Vehicle (MAV).