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Robot-assisterade hastigt bildade kunskapsnätverk

Reference number
RIT15-0097
Project leader
Doherty, Patrick
Start and end dates
160701-211231
Amount granted
27 000 000 SEK
Administrative organization
Linköping University
Research area
Informations-, kommunikations- och systemteknik

Summary

The main objectives of this project are to investigate and develop both the science and systems aspects of an enhanced version of HFNs that we call Hastily Formed Knowledge Networks (HFKN). More specifically, the project targets the automation of many of the interaction practices required for teams of emergency responders to operate efficiently. These include situation awareness, acquiring and sharing information, planning, making decisions, coordination, and command and control required by the teams involved. The novelty of the enhancement includes the use of teams of autonomous ground and aerial robotic systems that support information gathering processes, in addition to SymbiCloud, which is a distributed Cloud-based Dynamic Knowledge System intended to store and leverage the dynamic information gathered. The main driver in this project is the development of a demonstrator which integrates all the requisite functionalities and software components required to support robot-assisted dynamic information gathering, decision support and tasking to make emergency response more efficient. The work plan consists of 5 scientific topics that provide the formal underpinning for the demonstrator and the integrated system that will be its result. Major scientific contributions are expected in each of the chosen topic areas in addition to an open source software system for robotic teams assisting emergency responders that can potentially be exploited by academic and civil authorities.

Popular science description

The term Hastily Formed Networks (HFNs) was coined by Denning in 2005 after Hurricane Katrina to describe impromptu networks that are created to provide crisis communications. Additionally, the term “conversation space” was introduced for the medium in which such communication takes place. Experience has shown that first response is dependent on the quality and nature of this conversation space. The conversation space is intended to provide a medium for acquiring situation awareness and the original concept was very much focused on setting up the physical layer for communication. Proposed components of the conversational space were the physical systems, the players involved and the interaction practices. The latter include situation awareness, acquiring and sharing information, planning, making decisions, coordination, and command and control required by the players and teams involved. The focus of this research proposal is to investigate both the science and systems aspects of a smart systems enhancement of HFNs where one embeds autonomous robotic systems, both ground and aerial, as players and team members serving as an integral part of the physical infrastructure. Additionally, the interaction practices category will be extended by automating much of the process of dynamic acquisition, structuring and abstraction of sensory data, information and knowledge for situation awareness through the use of robotic team members serving as sensory data, information and knowledge gatherers assisting human operators. The initial application focus will be disaster relief and humanitarian assistance. Application areas will be broadened as the project progresses. An integral part of the smart system envisioned is the development of SymbiCloud, which is a distributed Cloud-based Dynamic Knowledge System. Each agent will have a SymbiCloud node containing its local or contextual perspective of its operational environment. Given a team of agents, information in SymbiCloud nodes can be aggregated and merged dynamically and virtually at different abstraction levels to allow for richer perspectives to improve timely decision making and planning processes for the individual agents and teams. The demonstrator in the project will include both aerial and ground robots where robots will assist rescue operators in the supply of communication equipment, food and medical supplies and also assist in information gathering tasks such as locating injured people autonomously.