ShanghaiTech University’s School of Information Science and Technology (SIST) hosted the 15th IEEE International Symposium on Safety, Security, and Rescue Robotics 2017 (SSRR2017) from October 11th to 13th, the first time the conference has been held in China. SIST Assistant Professor S?ren Schwertfeger served as the General Chair of the three-day conference and President Jiang Mianheng presented greetings to the attendees during the awards lunch ceremony.
The conference discussed the application of robotics technology in safety and disaster scenarios and the papers were given by presenters from more than ten different countries. The topics covered various aspects of robotics and automation for safety, security, and rescue applications such as disaster response, mitigation and recovery; rapid and secure inspection of critical infrastructure; detection of chemical, biological and radiological risks, and operations in these dangerous sites. The role of robotic technology for the mitigation of the Fukushima nuclear accident also played an important role.
Professor Sven Behnke, Director of the Institute of Computer Science, University of Bonn, Germany, presented a keynote talk at the conference. Professor Behnke presented mobile robots that are equipped with 3D laser scanners, cameras and other sensors that collect and fuse data to create a three-dimensional map of the robot environment. In addition, they have developed a deep learning approach for semantic perception, enabling robots to perform autonomous navigation and path planning, and to respond to terrestrial search and rescue applications. The robots they develop can also perform difficult tasks such as allowing robots to use tools and collecting objects with unmanned micro aerial vehicles. NimbRo, a research team led by Professor Behnke, won the Mohamed Bin Zayed International Robot Challenge (MBZIRC), a prestigious international robotics competition.
Another keynote speaker, Satoshi Tadokoro, from Tohoku University in Japan introduced his (ImPACT-TRC) project focusing on the reliability, perception and recognition of disaster recovery robots. Five types or robots are being developed: unmanned aerial vehicles, construction robots, snake-like robots, legged robots and cyber rescue dogs. These robots have advanced visual, audible and tactile sensing, robust actuators, man-machine interfaces and powerful wireless communication capabilities.
Mr. YANG Shuo, Director of Intelligent Navigation Technology at DJI, a well-known UAV manufacturer, spoke about "The Present and Future of Search & Rescue Drones". A total of 39 papers were presented at this conference. Awards were handed out for best paper, best student paper and best late breaking report. In these categories, 11 finalists were selected.
The meeting featured a wonderful robot demonstration and rescue robot race. A total of five teams from China and abroad participated in the competition. The competition had different standard robot test methods, such as rugged terrain, sand and gravel, navigation challenges and so on to test the performance of the participating robots and operators. The performance of the participating teams was applauded by the judges and the audience.