Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 5

Search results for: USAR

5 An Integrated Cognitive Performance Evaluation Framework for Urban Search and Rescue Applications

Authors: Antonio D. Lee, Steven X. Jiang


A variety of techniques and methods are available to evaluate cognitive performance in Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) applications. However, traditional cognitive performance evaluation techniques typically incorporate either the conscious or systematic aspect, failing to take into consideration the subconscious or intuitive aspect. This leads to incomplete measures and produces ineffective designs. In order to fill the gaps in past research, this study developed a theoretical framework to facilitate the integration of situation awareness (SA) and intuitive pattern recognition (IPR) to enhance the cognitive performance representation in USAR applications. This framework provides guidance to integrate both SA and IPR in order to evaluate the cognitive performance of the USAR responders. The application of this framework will help improve the system design.

Keywords: cognitive performance, intuitive pattern recognition, situation awareness, urban search and rescue

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4 MIOM: A Mixed-Initiative Operational Model for Robots in Urban Search and Rescue

Authors: Mario Gianni, Federico Nardi, Federico Ferri, Filippo Cantucci, Manuel A. Ruiz Garcia, Karthik Pushparaj, Fiora Pirri


In this paper, we describe a Mixed-Initiative Operational Model (MIOM) which directly intervenes on the state of the functionalities embedded into a robot for Urban Search&Rescue (USAR) domain applications. MIOM extends the reasoning capabilities of the vehicle, i.e. mapping, path planning, visual perception and trajectory tracking, with operator knowledge. Especially in USAR scenarios, this coupled initiative has the main advantage of enhancing the overall performance of a rescue mission. In-field experiments with rescue responders have been carried out to evaluate the effectiveness of this operational model.

Keywords: mixed-initiative planning and control, operator control interfaces for rescue robotics, situation awareness, urban search, rescue robotics

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3 Urban Search, Rescue and Rapid Field Assessment of Damaged and Collapsed Building Structures

Authors: Abid I. Abu-Tair, Gavin M. Wilde, John M. Kinuthia


Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) is a functional capability that has been developed to allow the United Kingdom Fire and Rescue Service to deal with ‘major incidents’ primarily involving structural collapse. The nature of the work undertaken by USAR means that staying out of a damaged or collapsed building structure is not usually an option for search and rescue personnel. As a result, there is always a risk that they could become victims. For this paper, a systematic and investigative review using desk research was undertaken to explore the role which structural engineering can play in assisting search and rescue personnel to conduct structural assessments when in the field. The focus is on how search and rescue personnel can assess damaged and collapsed building structures, not just in terms of the structural damage that may be countered, but also in relation to structural stability. Natural disasters, accidental emergencies, acts of terrorism and other extreme events can vary significantly in nature and ferocity, and can cause a wide variety of damage to building structures. It is not possible or, even realistic, to provide search and rescue personnel with definitive guidelines and procedures to assess damaged and collapsed building structures as there are too many variables to consider. However, understanding what implications damage may have upon the structural stability of a building structure will enable search and rescue personnel to judge better and quantify the risk from a life-safety standpoint. It is intended that this will allow search and rescue personnel to make informed decisions and ensure every effort is made to mitigate risk so that they do not become victims.

Keywords: damaged and collapsed building structures, life safety, quantifying risk, search and rescue personnel, structural assessments in the field

Procedia PDF Downloads 300
2 A Situational Awareness Map for Allocating Relief Resources after Earthquake Occurrence

Authors: Hamid Reza Ranjbar, Ali Reza Azmoude Ardalan, Hamid Dehghani, Mohammad Reza Sarajian


Natural disasters are unexpected events which predicting them is difficult. Earthquake is one of the most devastating disasters among natural hazards with high rate of mortality and wide extent of damages. After the earthquake occurrence, managing the critical condition and allocating limited relief sources requiring a complete awareness of damaged area. The information for allocating relief teams should be precise and reliable as much as possible, and be presented in the appropriate time after the earthquake occurrence. This type of information was previously presented in the form of a damage map; conducting relief teams by using damage map mostly lead to waste of time for finding alive occupants under the rubble. In this research, a proposed standard for prioritizing damaged buildings in terms of requiring rescue and relief was presented. This standard prioritizes damaged buildings into four levels of priority including very high, high, moderate and low by considering key parameters such as type of land use, activity time, and inactivity time of each land use, time of earthquake occurrence and distinct index. The priority map by using the proposed standard could be a basis for guiding relief teams towards the areas with high relief priority.

Keywords: Damage map, GIS, priority map, USAR

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1 A Road Map of Success for Differently Abled Adolescent Girls Residing in Pune, Maharashtra, India

Authors: Varsha Tol, Laila Garda, Neelam Bhardwaj, Malata Usar


In India, differently- abled girls suffer from a “dual stigma” of being female and physically challenged. The general consensus is that they are incapable of standing on their own two feet. It was observed that these girls do not have access to educational programs as most hostels do not keep them after the tenth grade. They are forced to return to a life of poverty and are often considered a liability by their families. Higher education is completely ignored. Parents focus on finding a husband and passing on their ‘burden’ to someone else. An innovative, intervention for differently-abled adolescent girls with the express purpose of mainstreaming them into society was started by Helplife. The objective was to enrich the lives of these differently abled adolescent girls through precise research, focused intervention and professionalism. This programme addresses physical, mental and social rehabilitation of the girls who come from impoverished backgrounds. These adolescents are reached by word of mouth, snowball technique and through the network of the NGO. Applications are invited from potential candidates which are scrutinized by a panel of experts. Selection criteria include her disability, socio-economic status, and desire and drive to make a difference in her own life. The six main areas of intervention are accommodation, education, health, professional courses, counseling and recreational activities. Each girl on an average resides in Helplife for a period of 2-3 years. Analysis of qualitative data collected at various time points indicates holistic development of character. A quality of life questionnaire showed a significant improvement in scores at three different time points in 75% of the current population under intervention i.e. 19 girls. Till date, 25 girls have successfully passed out from the intervention program completing their graduation/post-graduation. Currently, we have 19 differently abled girls housed in three flats in Pune district of Maharashtra. Out of which 14 girls are pursuing their graduation or post-graduation. Six of the girls are working in jobs in various sectors. In conclusion it may be noted with adequate support and guidance the sky is the limit. This journey of 12 years has been a learning for us with ups and downs modifying the intervention at every step. Helplife has a belief of impacting positively, individual lives of differently abled girls in order to empower them in a holistic manner. The intervention has a positive impact on differently abled girls. They serve as role models to other differently abled girls indicating that this is a road map to success by getting empowered to live with full potential and get integrated in the society in a dignified way.

Keywords: differently-abled, dual-stigma, empowerment, youth

Procedia PDF Downloads 46