Journal of Intelligent & Robotic Systems

, Volume 64, Issue 1, pp 7–31 | Cite as

Mapping for the Support of First Responders in Critical Domains

  • Alexander Kleiner
  • Christian Dornhege


In critical domains such as urban search and rescue (USAR), and bomb disposal, the deployment of teleoperated robots is essential to reduce the risk of first responder personnel. Teleoperation is a difficult task, particularly when controlling robots from an isolated safety zone. In general, the operator has to solve simultaneously the problems of mission planning, target identification, robot navigation, and robot control. We introduce a system to support teleoperated navigation with real-time mapping consisting of a two-step scan matching method that re-considers data associations during the search over transformations. The algorithm processes data from laser range finder and gyroscope only, thereby it is independent from the robot platform. Furthermore, we introduce a user-guided procedure for improving the global consistency of maps generated by the scan matcher. Globally consistent maps are computed by a graph-based maximum likelihood method that is biased by localizing crucial parts of the scan matcher trajectory on a prior given geo-tiff image. The approach has been implemented as an embedded system and extensively tested on robot platforms designed for teleoperation in critical situations, such as bomb disposal. Furthermore, the system was evaluated in a test maze by first responders during the Disaster City event in Texas, 2008.


SLAM Mapping HRI Teleoperation Operator assistance 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Robotics InstituteCarnegie Mellon UniversityPittsburghUSA
  2. 2.Computer Science DepartmentUniversity of FreiburgFreiburgGermany

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