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The sixth in a series of DHS/NIST response robot evaluation exercises
will be hosted at the emergency responder training facility known as
Disaster City in College Station, TX. These events are sponsored by
the Science and Technology Directorate of the Department of Homeland
Security and administered by the Intelligent Systems Division of the
National Institute of Standards and Technology. Thirty emergency
responders from across the country will participate, including FEMA
urban search and rescue teams; federal, state and local bomb squads;
and police/SWAT teams, to help validate emerging standard robot test
methods, become familiar with available robot capabilities, and advise
robot developers regarding operational requirements. All applicable
robots are invited to take part in this exercise including ground,
aquatic, and VTOL aerials under 5 lbs.
Robots will capture
performance data within emerging standard test methods developed to
evaluate Logistics, Mobility, Manipulation, Sensors, Radio
Communications, Energy, Human-System Interaction, and Localization/
Mapping capabilities. Robots may then be deployed with responders to
perform operational tasks in practice scenarios around the site, for
- Searching and mapping (2D, 3D) test methods prepare for operational
tasks in building interiors and exteriors, partially collapsed
structures, and confined spaces in rubble piles
- Mobile manipulation test methods prepare for operational tasks in
- Endurance, radio communications, sensor acuity, and decontamination/
washdown test methods prepare for operational tasks in down-range
reconnaissance of a hazardous materials train wreck from an stand-off
greater than 150m/500ft (hazmat robots should bring simulants to
demonstrate onboard sensors)
- Towing test methods (trailers, gripper-drag) prepare for operational
tasks in EOD and US&R scenarios
- Underwater test methods for navigation and sensor acuity prepare for
operational tasks in reconnaissance, retrieval, and bridge inspection
in the on-sight pond
- Aerial test methods for air-worthiness, station-keeping, and sensor
acuity prepare for operational tasks supporting scenarios noted above.
These response robot evaluation exercises introduce emerging robotic
capabilities to emergency responders within their own training
facilities, while educating robot developers regarding the necessary
performance requirements and operational constraints to be effective.
Emerging standard test methods for response robots and robot
performance assessments are under development within the ASTM
International Committee on Homeland Security Applications, Operational
Equipment; Robots (E54.08.01). These events help refine the proposed
standard test methods and apparatuses that developers can use to
practice critical capabilities and measure performance in ways that
are relevant to emergency responders. These events are conducted in
responder training scenarios to help correlate the proposed standard
test methods with envisioned deployment tasks and to lay the
foundation for usage guides identifying a robot's applicability to
particular response scenarios. Click her to view Disaster City facility.
There are no prerequisites for this class
- UGV: wall climbing for surveillance from elevated vantage points.
- FEMA urban search and rescue teams
- Federal/State/Local Bomb Technicians
- Purchasable and/or developmental robots
- Robotic researchers with operational prototypes
- Supporting technologies and sensors (hazmat, localization, wall/
ground penetrating, etc.)
The hosts at TEEX will provide all the necessary logistical support such as tents, tables, power, water, and other facilities for all emergency responders and robot teams. NIST will provide proposed standard test artifacts and distribute proposed test methods in and around the existing props. Lunches will be available for purchase at the site each day.
This event will include three days of robot evaluations in all the available US&R training props. The first two days will allow the assembled responders to deploy all participating robots within the training props, become familiar with the robot’s capabilities and emerging technologies likely to provide benefits in the near term, and provide feedback to developers regarding realistic usage of their robots.
On the third day, the emergency responders will choose the most successful robots from the previous two days to perform their targeted (and practiced) tasks in a 4-6 hour simulated incident response, including a working incident command structure, a variety of responder assets (police, fire, K-9 units), and US&R teams deploying their chosen robots (along with the robot developers as advisors/observers).
All teams will be invited to watch the final day’s incident response to observe the command and control elements, the robot deployments, and other realistic training details.
An after action briefing will also be provided to assess the operational impact and potential improvements necessary for robots to become useful tools for US&R. All stakeholders will be able to provide feedback on the proposed standard test methods. DHS and FEMA managers interested in applying robots to US&R operations will be invited to observe the final day’s activities.