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System for virtual TELEportation of RESCUER for inspecting coal mine areas affected by catastrophic events
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The goal is to develop a system for virtual teleportation of rescuers to subterranean areas of a coal mine that have been closed due to a catastrophic event that has been occurred within the area. Nowadays, human rescuers are inspecting such an area. The activity of rescuers is extremely dangerous. Moreover, human rescuers are allowed to enter the restricted area if values of several critical parameters achieve acceptable levels, that often requires long waiting times. To overcome these problems and improve efficiency of operation of human rescuers a TeleRescuer system will be developed. It will take advantage of a special unmanned vehicle (UV) capable of moving within the area affected by the catastrophic event, i.e. with many obstacles such as parts of destroyed machinery and equipment, rocks fallen at the soil, damaged installations etc. The UV will be equipped with sensors and cameras (VCR and IR). A breakthrough in the operation of such UVs will depend on the true possibility to virtually teleport the rescuer to the direct area of operation, which will be achieved threefold. First, particular attention will be paid to the interface rescuer/UV, whose goal is to make possible direct acting in the inspected area while the operator is remaining in a safe place. To this end, Virtual and Augmented Reality will be widely applied. Second, to allow this virtual teleportation, a very powerful communication system will be developed to allow broadband broadcasting of videos, results of measurements, and virtually direct control of the UV and its sensors and effectors. Third, a very realistic simulator will be developed to allow testing the interface and to train the rescuers in controlling and using the UV during the rescue operations in a true environment. Finally, the general approach and the system itself will undergo extensive tests in an environment very similar to operating conditions of the rescuers in a real coal mine, supervised by the Mining Rescuers Station.