[robotics-worldwide] [Journals] IJRR special issue Robot Teammates Operating in Dynamic, Unstructured Environments
The International Journal of Robotics Research
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Special Issue Robot Teammates Operating in Dynamic, Unstructured Environments
Henrik Christensen, UC San Diego
Nicholas Roy, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
M. Ani Hsieh, University of Pennsylvania
Ethan Stump, Army Research Laboratory
Christopher Reardon, Army Research Laboratory
Robotic systems are beginning to conquer well- to partially-structured environments, such as human-challenging games and self-driving cars operating on well-known streets, but genuinely unstructured and dynamic environments still exceed the capabilities of robotic systems, mainly when robots must also operate with or around humans. This unsolved problem of teams of robots that are capable of adapting to real, unstructured, dynamic environments in real time alongside humans is of high importance to robotics research today, with significant applications for military, search and rescue, and other robot uses in the real world.
To illustrate, imagine a human-robot team operating in an environment that is entirely unknown, such as under a dense tree canopy, at a disaster site, underground, or underwater, where limited or no resources (GPS, comms, power) are available. Compound the difficulty with dynamic events that alter the environment or robotic perception of the environment, such as weather and environmental effects or the actions of other agents.
Successful operation of a robot or group of robots in these difficult environments requires solutions at the intersection of several of the challenging areas in robotics: the ability for robots to 1) perceive, reason, and act in dynamic, unstructured environments 2) alongside human teammates, and 3) at human-operational speeds.