ROBO-MOLE: An assistant robot system for first responders in subterranean scenarios

Hamid Didari Khamseh Motlagh (Author and Speaker), Eva Maria Reitbauer, Christoph Schmied, Matthias Josef Eder, Stephan Schraml, Nizar Aourik, Marius Feilhauer, Rene Kastner, Roland Hieslmayr, Gerald Steinbauer-Wagner

Research output: Poster presentation without proceedingspeer-review


Disasters in tunnels and underground infrastructure pose significant challenges to emergency responders due to the confined and hazardous nature of these environments. Robots are seen as a valuable tool to assist first responders in such scenarios by providing situational awareness and the ability to maintain a safe distance from disaster sites during initial reconnaissance. However, the use of robots with automated skills in confined environments such as tunnels comes with its own set of challenges, mainly related to perception, localization, and navigation. This study presents a comprehensive support system for challenging underground operations using a robot equipped with situational awareness sensors and automated navigation capabilities that address the GNSS-denied and featureless environment. The developed system also includes a communication framework as well as a visualization tool capable of providing a detailed 3D environmental map, monitoring temperature, and detecting gas and fire sources, which enhances the safety and efficiency of underground operations. The system was evaluated through simulated rescue scenarios in a highway tunnel, where responders used the system to find victims and locate a gas leak after an accident in the tunnel.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2023
EventIEEE International Symposium on Safety,Security,and Rescue Robotics - Fukushima, Futaba District, Naraha, Yamadaoka, Utsukushimori−8, Fukushima, Japan
Duration: 13 Nov 202315 Nov 2023


ConferenceIEEE International Symposium on Safety,Security,and Rescue Robotics
Internet address

Research Field

  • Former Research Field - New Sensor Technologies


  • Rescue Robotrics
  • Localization-Mapping-Navigation
  • Robotics and Automaton for Safety and Security


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