Collaborative Multi-Robot Multi-Human Teams in Search and Rescue


Robots such as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) deployed for search and rescue (SAR) can explore areas where human searchers cannot easily go and gather information on scales that can transform SAR strategy. Multi-UAV teams therefore have the potential to transform SAR by augmenting the capabilities of human teams and providing information that would otherwise be inaccessible. Our research aims to develop new theory and technologies for field deploying autonomous UAVs and managing multi-UAV teams working in concert with multi-human teams for SAR. Specifically, in this paper we summarize our work in progress towards these goals, including: (1) a multi-UAV search path planner that adapts to human behavior; (2) an in-field distributed computing prototype that supports multi-UAV computation and communication; (3) behavioral modeling that yields spatially localized predictions of lost person location; and (4) an interface between human searchers and UAVs that facilitates human-UAV interaction over a wide range of autonomy.