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Robot-assisted search and rescue conducts joint training exercise with Italian Coast Guard

Credit: CRASAR
Credit: CRASAR

The Center for Robot-Assisted Search and Rescue (CRASAR) at Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station conducted a joint training exercise with the Italian Coast Guard in Genoa, Italy to prevent future migrant drownings in the Mediterranean. Over the course of three days the exercise tested EMILY, a lifeguard assistant unmanned surface vehicle, a Fotokite tethered unmanned aerial vehicle, and LTE cellular communications. The goal is to accelerate research in robotics, sensors, and networks for marine mass casualty events as a crisis response.

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Robotic research: Are we applying the scientific method?

robot-and-scientist2

Once upon a time validation of robotic research was relatively straightforward. Let us assume, for example, that a researcher had published in a journal a novel adaptive control law with a numerical example on a two-link robot. Beyond the formal proof of convergence, he supplied to the reader the differential equations used to model the system, including the corresponding dynamic parameters (no more than 20 numbers), the eventual quantization and discretization of the controller, the solver details of the software used, and the sensor noise statistics. Not only the reviewers, thus, but also each single reader would have the possibility to re-run the numerical simulations in a half-day of work. The community would have the possibility to test, validate, generalize, and benchmark the algorithm.