An overview of robotics and autonomous systems for harsh environments

Wong, Cuebong and Yang, Erfu and Yan, Xiu and Gu, Dongbing; (2017) An overview of robotics and autonomous systems for harsh environments. In: ICAC 2017 - 2017 23rd IEEE International Conference on Automation and Computing. IEEE, GBR. ISBN 9780701702618 (

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Across a wide range of industries and applications, robotics and autonomous systems can fulfil the crucial and challenging tasks such as inspection, exploration, monitoring, drilling, sampling and mapping in areas of scientific discovery, disaster prevention, human rescue and infrastructure management, etc. However, in many situations, the associated environment is either too dangerous or inaccessible to humans. Hence, a wide range of robots have been developed and deployed to replace or aid humans in these activities. A look at these harsh environment applications of robotics demonstrate the diversity of technologies developed. This paper reviews some key application areas of robotics that involve interactions with harsh environments (such as search and rescue, space exploration, and deep-sea operations), gives an overview of the developed technologies and provides a discussion of the key trends and future directions common to many of these areas.