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Fakultät für Elektrotechnik und Informationstechnik
6GEM Rescue Robotics Test Field

Successful 6GEM Demonstration in the Test Field of Rescue Robotics

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Experimental Platform at 6GEM DRZ Testfield © CNI, 2023
Ad-hoc deployments of mobile mesh nodes based on Xtender
Overview of 6GEM Rescue Robotics Testfield at DRZ © CNI, 2023
Impressions of the 6GEM demo in the test field rescue robotics

Together with our partners, we have recently made significant progress in our 6GEM test field rescue robotics.

See the newly released video of our demonstration for the 6GEM milestone after 24 months of project duration: embedded in a realistically modeled, multi-stage search-and-rescue mission different 6G technology concepts have been implemented, such as a seamless multi-link broker incorporating 5G, Wi-Fi and mesh for highly reliable ad-hoc wireless coverage enabling multi-robot control and joint communication and sensing. We thank our partners at RUB, DRZ, 6G-life & 6G-ANNA for their collaboration in realizing this challenging show case!

The 6GEM team of the rescue robotics test field, led by TU Dortmund-CNI, has successfully achieved all milestone 3 project goals in the second year of the project.  

In a stepwise research process, the 6GEM research groups involved in the test field have increasingly transferred 6G network concepts from the initial laboratory and testbed transfer environments to the authentic indoor and outdoor test sites at the German Rescue Robotics Center (DRZ). Focusing on the research areas of reliable ad-hoc communication and high-precision localization (Joint Communication and Sensing, JCAS), the teams from TU Dortmund (Christian Wietfeld) and RUB (Niels Pohl) were able to present two live demonstrations on the DRZ premises (Living Lab) during the fourth General Assembly in Dortmund. 

In the indoor area of the DRZ Living Lab, CNI presented a recently released ad-hoc positioning system called BYOPS (Bring Your Own Positioning System), which enables the radio-based and infrastructure-free localization of rescue forces in unknown deployment areas. An authentic benchmark scenario was used to demonstrate how an all-terrain walking robot can be reliably localized even under non-line-of-sight (NLOS) conditions.

As the main part, different facets of a Search & Rescue mission in the outdoor environment of the DRZ were illustrated and consolidated in a comprehensive demo video:

A robotic rescue unit consisting of five robotic systems with different capabilities searched for a dummy (missing person) placed in an authentic disaster scenario. The connectivity of all involved units was realized by a multi-connectivity approach developed in the 6GEM project, which is particularly robust for rescue operations and controlled by our mobile communications laboratory (mission control). In addition, a mmWave-based vital signs sensor from RUB detected emulated vital signs of the dummy, whereupon the rescue mission was successfully completed. As part of the multi-connectivity, mesh networking concepts explored in 6G-life and 6G-ANNA by project partners TU Dresden and Meshmerize has been leveraged.

The capabilities of the ad hoc positioning (indoor) and reliable 6G support for immersive situational awareness & multi-robot control (outdoor: search and rescue) demonstrators fully meet or exceed the objectives defined for 6GEM Milestone 3 (M24) with respect to the complex outdoor scenarios.

Scientific references:

M. Patchou, J. Tiemann, C. Arendt, S. Böcker, C. Wietfeld, "Realtime Wireless Network Emulation for Evaluation of Teleoperated Mobile Robots", In 2022 IEEE International Conference on Safety, Security, and Rescue Robotics (SSRR), Sevilla, Spain, November 2022.

F. Schmickmann, M. Haferkamp, J. Tiemann, C. Wietfeld, "Bring Your Own Positioning System: An Infrastructure-free and Omnidirectional UWB-based Localization Approach", In 2023 IEEE 97th Vehicular Technology Conference (VTC-Spring), Florence, Italy, June 2023.