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A method borrowed from video gaming can make remote-controlled emergency response robots easier to use - enabling the operator to focus more on the dangerous situations they face. An international research team is adapting a technique known to gamers as "free look control," to emergency response robots, which will enable the robots to mimic way the human body turns in relation to the movement of the head and direction of sight. Petter Ogren, Associate Professor at the Center for Autonomous Systems (CAS) at Stockholm's KTH Royal Institute of Technology, says the technique would allow a more natural interaction with the robot than currently in use when the so-called unmanned ground vehicles (UGV) are sent into burning or collapsed buildings and other places too dangerous for human responders.
With free look control, an operator interacts with a remote controlled robot in much the same way they would with an avatar in role-playing or first-person shooter games such as Call of Duty.
Situational awareness enables an operator to maintain a mental picture of their environment.
While the current standard, "tank control" is more straightforward to implement, it takes more concentration to use. But with free look control, the commanded direction of motion of the robot is always interpreted relative to the view of the camera. The operator will not have to take the orientation of the robot into account, which is the case when using tank control. The robot is also able to easily move perpendicular to its direction of view, a technique gamer's call "strafing," which is a quite natural thing to do when conducting tasks such as searching an environment for victims. Ogren says that in tests that the team conducted with a fire brigade in Pisa, Italy, 12 out of 16 users preferred free look control. The research was conducted within the framework of the EU project, Long-Term Human-Robot Teaming for Robot-Assisted Disaster Response (TRADR), which is included in the Seventh Framework Programme, FP7.

In addition to CAS at KTH, researchers from Germany, Switzerland, Netherlands and Italy are involved in the project. A pharmaceutical salesmen on a business trip to Hilton Head, South Carolina had his daily jog turn deadly when a plane making an emergency landing struck and killed him on Monday. Pharmaceutical salesman Robert Gary Jones, an employee of GlaxoSmithKline had a business trip turn deadly on Monday. The pilot was overwhelmed by the incident, "I've got a lot of issues going on right now," Smith said.
Joggers getting killed by cars, buses and trucks are the kinds of accidents we've all heard of. Jogger Gary John Roberts was killed on Monday, March 15, 2010 when he was struck by a Lancair IV-P making an emergency landing on a Hilton Head Island beach. Text To Speech Human Sounding Voice Conversion lets you type in your message and have it delivered.
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Time is precious and it's critical for those controlling the robots to quickly attain what responders call "situational awareness" - the understanding of the environment and what is happening in it. In a burning house, the operator keeps track of in which room the robot has been, and when it's time to go upstairs to search the next floor. The camera movements and the robot's body movements are each directed by different levers that are linked to different pieces of hardware, says Ogren.

So if the robot is looking to the right, the forward control lever will move the robot toward the direction in which it is looking. One of the tests included searching an indoor industrial environment for two minutes, trying to find as many markers as possible. He was jogging on the beach while listening to his iPod when a kit-built single-engine plane was gliding down for an emergency landing on a beach.According to aviation expert Mary Schiavo, a former inspector general for the National Transportation Safety Board, "There's no noise.
An oil leak, with oil covering the windshield and a lost propellor forced an emergency landing. Smith of Chesapeake, Va., and his lone passenger, David Henry, 59, also of Chesapeake, walked away from the crash-landing near the Hilton Head Marriott Resort and Spa. So the jogger, with his ear buds in, and the plane without an engine, you're basically a stealth aircraft.
In fact, I can't think of ever hearing of another case like it and a quick search of the Internet turned up nothing similar.

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