20 Jul 2017

US-Korea research collaboration on Disaster Relief Robots

Some $3.5M has been awarded to six university teams by the DoD which will fund research into robotics for disaster relief.

The funding has come as part of a joint research project with the Republic of Korea’s Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Energy (MOTIE) and will see joint teams funded by through sponsored US and Korean performers.

The collaboration is designed to bring together top researchers in the field to develop robotics capabilities which could aid in humanitarian disasters and recovery operations.

Research areas funded include: novel platforms for search and rescue, advanced human-robot interaction for command and control, and advanced robotic perception/recognition for enhanced situational awareness.

The US grant recipients and their anticipated research projects are as follows:

  • Yong Cho, Georgia Institute of Technology, Hybrid site sensing and human-multi-robot team collaboration for disaster relief at nuclear power plants
  • Hae-Won Park, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Agile, Soft, and Adaptable Platform for Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief
  • Mark Yim, University of Pennsylvania, Variable Topology Truss for Robotic Humanitarian Missions
  • Martial Hebert, Carnegie Mellon University, Semantic Mapping for Disaster Response
  • Allison Okamura, Stanford University, Human-Centered Design and Control of Vine Robots for Disaster Scenarios
  • Sangbae Kim, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Development of tele-operated quadrupedal robotic platform for disaster response

The US program will be jointly managed by the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, and the Asian Office of Aerospace Research and Development.
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