Project Introduction

For our project, we are building a search and rescue ground robot. Most operations involving sending robots into unknown environments involve a remote human operator controlling the robot. However, in many situations, such direct control is not possible. We aim to automate this entire search process so that a robot can navigate and explore a previously unknown environment while concurrently marking the location of all human presence.

We plan to achieve this by building a robot base consisting of a LIDAR, Thermal Camera and an onboard micro-controller. LIDAR data along with robot pose data will be used to optimize a local map of the region using existing SLAM algorithms. This map will be used by the robot to navigate to unexplored regions, with the aim of recovering a “complete” map. The thermal camera will be used to detect presence of all persons present in the environment.

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