The novel application of unmanned systems in the domain of humanitarian Search and Rescue (SAR) operations has created a need to develop specific multi-Robot Command and Control (RC2) systems. This societal application of robotics requires human-robot interfaces for controlling a large fleet of heterogeneous robots deployed in multiple domains of operation (ground, aerial and marine). This chapter provides an overview of the Command, Control and Intelligence (C2I) system developed within the scope of Integrated Components for Assisted Rescue and Unmanned Search operations (ICARUS). The life cycle of the system begins with a description of use cases and the deployment scenarios in collaboration with SAR teams as end-users. This is followed by an illustration of the system design and architecture, core technologies used in implementing the C2I, iterative integration phases with field deployments for evaluating and improving the system. The main subcomponents consist of a central Mission Planning and Coordination System (MPCS), field Robot Command and Control (RC2) subsystems with a portable force-feedback exoskeleton interface for robot arm tele-manipulation and field mobile devices. The distribution of these C2I subsystems with their communication links for unmanned SAR operations is described in detail. Field demonstrations of the C2I system with SAR personnel assisted by unmanned systems provide an outlook for implementing such systems into mainstream SAR operations in the future.
Part of the book: Search and Rescue Robotics