Journal of Intelligent & Robotic Systems

, Volume 72, Issue 2, pp 147–165

Robotic Urban Search and Rescue: A Survey from the Control Perspective


DOI: 10.1007/s10846-013-9822-x

Cite this article as:
Liu, Y. & Nejat, G. J Intell Robot Syst (2013) 72: 147. doi:10.1007/s10846-013-9822-x


Robotic urban search and rescue (USAR) is a challenging yet promising research area which has significant application potentials as has been seen during the rescue and recovery operations of recent disaster events. To date, the majority of rescue robots used in the field are teleoperated. In order to minimize a robot operator’s workload in time-critical disaster scenes, recent efforts have been made to equip these robots with some level of autonomy. This paper provides a detailed overview of developments in the exciting and challenging area of robotic control for USAR environments. In particular, we discuss the efforts that have been made in the literature towards: 1) developing low-level controllers for rescue robot autonomy in traversing uneven terrain and stairs, and perception-based simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM) algorithms for developing 3D maps of USAR scenes, 2) task sharing of multiple tasks between operator and robot via semi-autonomous control, and 3) high-level control schemes that have been designed for multi-robot rescue teams.


Urban search and rescue Rescue robots Robot autonomy SLAM Semi-autonomous control Multi-robot control 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Autonomous Systems and Biomechatronics Laboratory, Department of Mechanical and Industrial EngineeringUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada

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