A Multidisciplinary Approach to Learning Human-Robot Interaction (HRI) Through Real-World Problem Solving—The “BUSA Dig”


Authors: Rob Blain, Alex Ferworn, Jean Li, Jimmy Tran, Michael Carter Abstract: This article examines a cross-disciplinary approach to learning human-robot interaction (HRI) through real-world problem solving. The problem originated from the need of archaeologists…

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A Rudimentary Approach to Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Guided Improvised Explosive Device Shrapnel Dispersal Simulation


Authors: Christopher C.K. Chan, Alexander Ferworn and David Tran Abstract: This paper proposes a methodology to compute, model and simulate a Directionally Focused Charge (DFC) explosive, delivered and deployed on an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV),…

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Enhancing Autonomous Access Hole Detection


Authors: Waismark, Ben, Alexander Ferworn, and Jimmy Tran Abstract: When buildings collapse, the resulting rubble may trap live victims underneath it, entombing them. Voids beneath the rubble may allow victims to stay alive. However, chances…

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Towards Determining Relative Densities for Common Unknown Explosives in Improvised Explosive Devices


Authors: Christopher C.K. Chan, Alexander Ferworn and Lee Chin Abstract: This paper proposes a methodology to obtain a model for estimating relative densities of unknown substances contained in Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) using scanning technology…

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Serious Gaming for Improvised Explosive Device Neutralization Training


Authors: Christopher C.K. Chan, Alexander Ferworn and Const. Matthew Young Abstract: An improvised explosive device (IED) is a “homemade” bomb intended to cause great harm when it explodes. The public safety task of identifying and…

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What is a Hole? Discovering Access Holes in Disaster Rubble with Functional and Photometric Attributes


Authors: C. Kong, A. Ferworn, J. Tran, E. Coleshill, and K. G. Derpanis Abstract: The collapse of buildings and other structures in heavily populated areas often result in human victims becoming trapped within the resulting…

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A Hybrid Lossless and Lossy Compression Scheme for Streaming RGB-D Data in Real Time


Author: M. Coatsworth, J. Tran, A. Ferworn Abstract: Mobile and aerial robots used in urban search and rescue (USAR) operations have shown the potential for allowing us to explore, survey and assess collapsed structures effectively…

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Interacting with a Virtual Destroyed Environment Constructed from Real Disaster Data


A. Ferworn, S. Herman, C. Kong, A. Ufkes, J. Tran Abstract: A Destroyed Environment (DE) is created by disastrous events in the built environment. DEs typically consist of the structures created from the rubble of…

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Toward the Automatic Detection of Access Holes in Disaster Rubble


C. Kong, A. Ferworn, J. Tran, S. Herman, E. Coleshill and K. Derpanis The collapse of buildings and other structures in heavily populated areas often result in multiple human victims becoming trapped within the resulting…

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Disaster scene reconstruction: Modeling and simulating urban building collapse rubble within a game engine


A. Ferworn, S. Herman, J. Tran, A. Ufkes, R. McDonald Various natural and human-made events can occur in urban settings resulting in buildings collapsing and trapping victims. The task of a structural engineer is to…

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A Markerless Augmented Reality System for Mobile Devices


A. Ufkes, M. Fiala Augmented Reality (AR) combines a live view of a real world environment with computer-generated virtual content. An AR system poses unique challenges including requiring a high quality camera pose estimate and…

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3D Disaster Scene Reconstruction Using a Canine-Mounted RGB-D Sensor


J. Tran, A. Ufkes, A. Ferworn, M. Fiala A 3D map of the interior of a disaster site that pinpoints the location of trapped victims would greatly aid search and rescue efforts. We propose using…

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Dog and snake marsupial cooperation for urban search and rescue deployment


A. Ferworn, C. Wright, J. Tran, C. Li, H. Choset Abstract — One of the many challenges in developing ground response robots for Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) is endowing them with mobility that allows…

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Establishing network connectivity under rubble using a hybrid wired and wireless approach


A. Ferworn, J. Tran, A. Ufkes, S. Herman, C. Kong Abstract — Under rubble communication is a well-known difficult problem. This is due to a number of inherent difficulties including plentiful and diverse physical obstacles…

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Initial Experiments on 3D Modeling of Complex Disaster Environments Using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles


A. Ferworn, J. Tran, A. Ufkes, A. D’Souza Abstract — The use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) has the potential to significantly improve the situation awareness of emergency first responders working at urban disaster sites….

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Low-Cost 3D Scene Reconstruction for Response Robots in Real-time


J. Tran, A. Ufkes, M. Fiala, A. Ferworn Abstract — In this paper we discuss several methods for the creation of 3D models that can provide additional information to robot operators in order to improve…

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DEX – A Design for Canine-Delivered Marsupial Robot


M. Gerdzhev, J. Tran, A. Ferworn, D. Ostrom Abstract — This paper presents the work on Drop and EXplore (DEX), a small rescue robot to be used in Urban Search and Rescue (US&R) operations. Unlike…

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Canine Assisted Robot Deployment for Urban Search and Rescue


J. Tran, A. Ferworn, M. Gerdzhev, D. Ostrom Abstract — In Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) operations the search for survivors must occur before rescue operations can proceed. Two methods that can be used to…

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Light-weight Protocol Simulation for Binary Data Exchange over Heterogeneous Networks


S. Sharieh, K. Sartipi, A. Ferworn Abstract — This paper presents a protocol for a near –real-time binary data exchange over Ad-Hoc networks, and heterogeneous networks. The protocol was tested with a software simulation and…

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Wireless Mesh Network Performance for Urban Search and Rescue Missions


Ribeiro, C., Ferworn, A., Denko, M., and Tran, J. Abstract — In this paper we demonstrate that the Canine Pose Estimation (CPE) system can provide a reliable estimate for some poses and when coupled with…

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Adaptive Engineering of an Embedded System, Engineered for use by Search and Rescue Canines


C. Ribeiro, F. Mavaddat, A. Ferworn Abstract — In Urban Search and Rescue (US&R) operations, canine teams are deployed to find live patients, and save lives. US&R may benefit from increased levels of situational awareness,…

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Computational Public Safety in Emergency Management Communications


C. Ribeiro, A. Ferworn Abstract — Communications are very important in any situation but in emergency management it is imperative that the communications be reliable and responsive to the evolving situation. In emergency management there…

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A Scrubbing Technique for the Automatic Detection of Victims in Urban Search and Rescue Video


M. Gerdzhev, J. Tran, A. Ferworn Abstract — In the discipline of Urban Search and Rescue (US&R), the faster a live human can found the more likely their rescue will be successful with success being…

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Continuing Progress in Augmenting Urban Search and Rescue Dogs


J. Tran, M. Gerdzhev, A. Ferworn Abstract — Canine Augmentation Technology (CAT) is a telepresence system worn by search canines to be used in Urban Search and Rescue (US&R) operations. The intended purpose of CAT…

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Bark Indication Detection and Release Algorithm for the Automatic Delivery of Packages by Dogs


J. Tran, A. Ferworn Abstract — The Canine Remote Deployment System (CRDS) is a set of equipment for the delivery of emergency supplies to trapped victims in urban search and rescue (US&R) operations. The system…

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An Assessment of a Wireless Mesh Network Performance for Urban Search and Rescue Task


C. Ribeiro, A. Ferworn, and J. Tran Abstract — In this paper we present a reliable system for predicting the body position, or pose, of Urban Search and Rescue (US&R) dogs. We demonstrate that the…

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Canine Pose Estimation – A Computing for Public Safety Solution


C.Ribeiro, A. Ferworn, M. Denko, J. Tran Abstract — In this paper we discuss determining canine pose in the context of common poses observed in Urban Search and Rescue dogs through the use a sensor…

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Wireless estimation of canine pose for search and rescue


C. Ribeiro, A. Ferworn, M. Denko, J. Tran, C. Mawson, Abstract — In this paper we discuss the use of accelerometers and Bluetooth to monitor canine pose in the context of common poses observed in…

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Enhancing Canine Disaster Search


J. Tran, A. Ferworn, C. Ribeiro, M. Denko Abstract — This paper describes Canine Augmentation Technology (CAT) for use in urban search and rescue (USAR). CAT is a WiFi enabled sensor array that is worn…

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Canine Remote Deployment System for Urban Search and Rescue


Alexander Ferworn, Devin Ostrom, Kevin Barnum, Mike Dallaire, Denis Harkness, Mike Dolderman Abstract — The Canine Remote Deployment System (CRDS) is a dog-mounted remote delivery system for patients trapped in rubble when human contact is…

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A GSM Mobile System to Monitor Brain Function using a Near-Infrared Light Sensor


This paper presents a versatile mobile system to monitor oxygenated hemoglobin (HBO) and deoxygenated hemoglobin (HB) concentration changes in brain and tissues. The system uses global system for mobile communications (GSM) and Bluetooth networks to…

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An Ad-hoc Network Based Framework for Monitoring Brain Function


Ad-hoc networks and mobile devices have become a crucial part of our daily lives. The low cost of wireless devices and free use of ad-hoc networks open an unlimited horizon to create new applications. Moreover,…

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Image Enhancement using Frame Extraction Through Time


Image enhancement within machine vision systems has been performed a variety of ways with the end goal of producing a better scene for further processing. The majority of approaches for enhancing an image scene and…

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Applying Model-Driven Techniques to Pervasive System Engineering


This paper provides an overview of model driven software development methodologies and argues that they are well-suited for the purpose of pervasive software development. It also surveys some of the most notable model-driven pervasive software…

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Traffic Safety using Frame Extraction Through Time


In today’s world the public understands video surveillance systems as a series of Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) systems. People imagine tens of cameras connected to tens of remote monitors, controlled by multiple personal who pay…

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Rubble Search with Canine Augmentation Technology


We have been working to augment trained search and rescue canines with technological components to allow them to be monitored and controlled from greater distances in rubble caused by a disaster. Such rubble often precludes…

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Canine as Robot in Directed Search


One of the goals of rescue robotics has been to allow machines to sense and act where people cannot go. Deployed with various sensors and under the guidance of trained operators these systems have shown…

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Applying Model-Driven Development Techniques to the Development of Search and Rescue Systems


This paper describes our work of applying modern software engineering methodologies such as Model-Driven Development and Product-Line Engineering to the development and maintenance of technical supporting systems in the domain of Search and Rescue. We…

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WiFi repeater deployment for improved communication in confined-space urban disaster search


A. Ferworn, N. Tran, J. Tran, G. Zarnett, and F. Sharif Abstract — We examine the use of WiFi repeaters to extend the range of wireless devices employed in confined space search in an Urban…

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Obstruction Removal using Feature Extraction Through Time for Video Conferencing Processing


A major problem with front projection displays used for video conferencing is the potential for undesirable shadows to be cast onto the display screen by presenters. This paper provides a new processing approach for removing…

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Feature Extraction Through Time


Robots that perform repetitive tasks without human intervention have been used for decades in automated manufacturing. These systems are programmed to perform simple repetitive tasks with little or no ability to sense or react to…

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Expedients for Marsupial Operations of USAR Robots


This paper presents observations and suggestions for urban search and rescue (USAR) robot developers whose products may be involved in ad hoc marsupial operations at ground disaster sites. A marsupial operation can be defined as…

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Urban Search and Rescue with Canine Augmentation Technology


The agility, sense of smell, hearing and speed of dogs is put to good use by dedicated canine teams involved in Search and Rescue operations. Perhaps the weakest link in the human-dog team is the…

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Pocket PC Beacons: Wi-Fi based Human Tracking and Following for Mobile Robots


The Network-Centric Applied Research Team (N-CART) is continuing its work on an ambitious project known as the Network-Enabled Powered Wheelchair Adaptor Kit (NEPWAK). It introduces techniques for modifying and using powered wheelchairs as mobile platforms…

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Spherical Panoramic Video Creation For Micro-Gravity Applications


Techniques for synthesizing panoramic scenes are widespread. Such a scene can be automatically created from multiple displaced images by aligning and overlapping them using an image registration technique. The ability to generate panoramic scenes has…

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Telebotic Control of a Powered-Wheelchair across the WWW — NEPWAK


The Network-Centric Applied Research Team (N-CART) is continuing work on a project known as the Network-Enabled Powered Wheelchair Adaptor Kit (NEPWAK). We have introduced techniques for modifying powered wheelchairs to allow telebotic control via wireless…

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Spherical Panoramic Video — The Space Ball


Techniques for synthesizing panoramic scenes are widespread. Such a scene can be automatically created from multiple displaced images by aligning and overlapping them using an image registration technique. The ability to generate panoramic scenes has…

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Low Bandwidth and Control of a Mobile Robot on a Wireless Personal Digital Assistant


Given the seemingly insatiable desire for low-cost and highly capable mobile computing devices in the form of personal digital assistants (PDAs), and the increasing popularity and deployment of wireless networks it was inevitable that video…

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The Network-Enabled Powered Wheelchair Adaptor Kit – First Prototype


The Network-Centric Applied Research Team (N-CART) is continuing work on a project known as the Network-Enabled Powered Wheelchair Adaptor Kit(NEPWAK). We have introduced techniques for modifying powered wheelchairs to allow tele-operation over the Internet. As…

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Optimization For Video and Telebotic Control on Palm OS PDAs


The Network-Centric Applied Research Team (NCART) [1] has been exploring the possibility of extending video, audio and control services through the Internet to various telebotic devices. To allow greater freedom of movement to the telerobot,…

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WAX — Next Generation Robot on the Web


The Network-Centric Applied Research Team (N-CART) at Ryerson University has developed an improved WWW-based, wireless robot for telepresence applications. The mobile robot WAX [1] allows teleoperated control over the Internet using a standard web browser….

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The Internet-Enabled Furnace


From Coffee makers to refrigerators academics and manufacturers alike have attempted to jump onto the Internet connectivity bandwagon. Each making compelling arguments that such connectivity is inevitable and will be of significant benefit to the…

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Challenges for Mobile Internet Appliances


We in the Network-Centric Applied Research Team (NCART) are conducting an on-going study designed to resolve issues associated with the reality of movement and interaction of a Web-enabled mobile teleoperated device in a dynamic, unstructured…

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Constrained Image Understanding Using Lossy Compressed Images


The Network-Centric Applied Research Team (N-CART) introduces a distributed model for constrained image recognition using lossy compressed images. The recognition engine resides on a network node apart from where the images are taken. We have…

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Constrained Image Understanding for an Internet Robot Supporting Telepresence


The Network-Centric Applied Research Team (N-CART) introduces a distributed model for constrained image recognition for a web-enabled video robot supporting aspects of telepresence. The recognition engine resides on a network node apart from the actual…

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Auditory WWW Search Tools


Early Web applications were overwhelmingly visual. As the Web becomes an essential tool in knowledge work, electronic commerce, and virtual interaction, there is a need for auditory interfaces to Web applications. Such interfaces are particularly…

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Effective Teleoperation Over the World Wide Web


The Network-Centric Applied Research Team (N-CART) team has developed MAX the robot dog, a working prototype of a teleoperated device constructed from readily available components using a control metaphor derived from the way people a…

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Solenodon: Unstable Hexapod Walking


The Solenodon research robot is a six legged mechanical walking platform designed at Ryerson Polytechnic University’s School of Computer Science. It was our goal to develop a platform that would facilitate the examination of issues…

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Using Reflexes to Speed ANN Learning in an Autonomous Mobile Robot


We introduce a novel control architecture for Autonomous Mobile Robots called the Reflexive Instructor (RI) with Deliberate Apprentice (DA). The architecture employs simple reinforcement signals provided by the RI component to train the DA. The…

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MAX: Wireless Teleoperation via the World Wide Web


The N-CART team has developed a working prototype of a teleoperated device based on a control metaphor derived from the way people control dogs on leashes. MAX the robot dog is wireless, highly mobile and…

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MAX: Teleoperated Dog on the Web


The N-CART team has developed and deployed a wireless microcontroller-based robot allowing teleoperated control via a web browser communicating over an IP network. The robot–MAX streams video images continuously via analog radio link from an…

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The Reflexive Instructor with Deliberate Apprentice Architecture


A framework allowing a discourse in autonomy applied to autonomous mobile robots is developed based on human autonomy. This framework is extended to mobile robotics and is used to evaluate the level of autonomy in…

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Inchworm Mobility–Stable, Reliable and Inexpensive


This paper examines some of the more interesting characteristics of inchworm mobility. Empirical evidence of a working system’s performance is presented which suggests that this form of mobility may be applicable to environments with extremely…

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