• Small scale implementation of a robotic urban search and rescue network

      Kibler, Steven G. (2012-05)
      With the advancement of robotics technologies, it is now possible to use robots for high risk jobs that have historically been accomplished by humans. One such example is the use of robots for Urban Search and Rescue (USR): finding chemical spills, fires, or human survivors in disaster areas. With the ability to include inexpensive wireless transceivers, it is possible to network numerous robots as part of a swarm that can explore an area much more expeditiously than a single robot can. With the inclusion of wireless capabilities comes the necessity to create a protocol for the communication between robots. Also necessary is the creation of an exploration protocol that allows the network of robots to explore such a building or search area in as little time as possible yet as accurately as possible. This thesis covers the development of such a network of robots, starting with the hardware/software co-design, the individual robots' control mechanisms, and their mapping and communications protocols.