Since early 2010, these questions are being addressed in the collaborative research project "Natural Human-Robot Interaction in Dynamic Environments," (NIFTi). NIFTi is funded by the European Union as part of its 7th Framework Program, and is coordinated by the DFKI Language Technology Lab.
NIFTi is about cooperation between robots and humans in various kinds of urban search- and rescue missions. In NIFTi, a robot connects models of how humans work with what it is supposed to do, and the actual situation in which it and its human team partners find themselves. This provides the basis on which the robot then decides how to behave as a "team player." It tries to act in the right place, time, and manner for the human to be able to optimally lead the joint efforts. Thereby, spoken dialogue between robot and human team players plays an essential role to coordinate efforts and to keep each other informed.
Each year, NIFTi evaluates its systems with several end user organizations, focusing on Urban Search & Rescue. Rescue personnel teams up with NIFTi ground and air robots in order to jointly explore a disaster area and to assess the situation. These cases are based on realistic missions, and are carried out in real-life training areas provided by the end user organizations.
The NIFTi consortium is coordinated by DFKI. It comprises TNO Human Factors, Fraunhofer IAIS, ETH Zürich, BlueBotics SA, Czech Technical University, and the La Sapienza University of Rome. The end user organizations NIFTi cooperates with are the Fire Department of Dortmund (IFR), the Italian National Rescue Services (CNVF), the Swiss Disaster Rapid Relief Command (EiKdo), and RUAG Landsystems.NIFTi project coordinator:
Reinhard Karger | idw
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The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.
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Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.
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