Researchers from BUT successfully tested a robotic system that maps out a radiation contaminated country
Terrorists have acquired radioactive material, but they have been detained by security units while transporting it. At the same time, however, there was a radiation leak contaminating the surrounding environment. It is precisely the scenario that has been chosen by the cybernetics specialists from Brno University of Technology cooperating with soldiers and firefighters to carry out an experiment aimed to locate radioactive material in terrain. Thanks to the ATEROS robotic system, developed by Luděk Zalud’s team, the drone and ground robot have explored the contaminated area without the presence of a human.
"At first, the drone created a very detailed 3D map of the area. We need to know the exact height of the terrain so that the drone could fly about 15 meters above the ground and copy the terrain during its next passage when already scanning the radiation. This second flight has already provided us with a map indicating in color approximate occurrence of radiation. Subsequently, an autonomous ground robot set out on the indicated sites and searched the area in detail and managed to avoid the obstacles that can be expected at the scene of the accident. The result is a very detailed map, where the contaminated site is measured with an accuracy of centimeters," said Luděk Žalud, an employee of both the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Communication and the BUT CEITEC.
Experts close to Luděk Žalud, who heads the robotics and artificial intelligence groups, gradually abandon the idea of remote control of the robot in real time when the rescuer needs to be within reach of an accident. The ATEROS autonomous robotic system, which can include both drones and land robots, can search the site entirely by itself, because individual machines communicates with one another and transfer the obtained data. Otherwise, it was this system that won the award at the AMPER International Fair last year.
The experiment was carried out thanks to the cooperation with the Army of the Czech Republic, the Fire Brigade of the South Moravian Region, the Air Force Technical Institute and NUVIA.