Carnegie Mellon University
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Urban Search and Rescue
Head: Katia Sycara
Contact: Lori R. Price
Mailing address:
Carnegie Mellon University
Robotics Institute
5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
Associated center(s) / consortia:
 Center for Integrated Manfacturing Decision Systems (CIMDS)
Associated lab(s) / group(s):
 Advanced Agent - Robotics Technology Lab
Project Homepage
To address the challenges of urban search and rescue, we propose Hybrid Teams of Autonomous Agents: Cyber Agents, Robots and People (CARPs) consisting of large number of these entities that are distributed in space, time, capability, and roles. We move away from the traditional human-controlled design of automation, where automated systems are subordinate to their human controllers who give them their goals and tasks and manage task execution. Instead, we advocate a cooperative control (adjustable autonomy) paradigm where current notions of organizational control and system interactions are extended based on adaptive sharing.

The various members of CARP groups, be they human, robots or cyber-agents, share common goals; initiative for communication and action, responsibility for coherent group activity; information on the environment, mission, situation; and share in helping each other in overcoming barriers to achievement of common goals. Ad hoc interoperability across different agents, teams and organizations are brought together "as is", and co-adaptation to each other addresses the challenges present in such large-scale, uncertain coordination domains.