Two UGVs and two UAVs in front of the San Francesco church. Photo Credit: TRADR
13 Sep 2018

Human-Robot Teamwork Technology for Robot-Assisted Disaster Response - A lecture by Ivana Kruijff-Korbayová


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Ivana Kruijff-KorbayováOne of the key note speakers in the Brussels November CTIF Seminar  "Fire, Rescue & New Challenges" is Dr Ivana Kruijff-Korbayová . This lecture is about her work to investigate human-robot teamwork and develop technology for robot-assisted disaster response.

Her research includes various topics in discourse and dialogue modelling and context-sensitive natural language processing for dialogue systems and human-robot interaction.

"Disaster response teams increasingly use mobile robotic systems for the reconnaissance of an incident site. We have worked in close cooperation with first responders to investigate human-robot teamwork and develop technology for robot-assisted disaster response", says Ivana Kruijff-Korbayová.

Read here what she wrote about her work with robots deployed in the 2016 earthquake in Italy:


UAV entering the Sant’Agostino church with one of the UAVs observing it (the other observing UAV is taking the picture). Credit: TRADR

UAV entering the Sant’Agostino church with one of the UAVs observing it (the other observing UAV is taking the picture). Credit: TRADR

"To our knowledge, this was the first time several different kinds robots have been used in collaboration in a real disaster response deployment. The mission fulfilled its goal to collect data for the construction of high-quality textured 3D models, which have been provided both to the VVFF and to the Italian Ministery of Culture. Additional great success was the fact that the TRADR team was able to arrive and deploy at the location on such short notice. The VVFF has expressed high appreciation for the success of the TRADR project mission and smooth operation, and expressed their intention to continue and further deepen collaboration efforts."


This work has been carried out in two large-scale integrated projects funded by the EU FP7 program: NIFTi (Natural Human-Robot Cooperation in Dynamic Environments; Jan 2010 - Dec 2013, and TRADR (Long-Term Human-Robot Teaming for Robot-Assisted Disaster Response; Nov 2013 - Dec 2017,

Over the years a series of experiments have carried out and system tests using ground and airborne robots in realistic scenarios simulating a truck accident in a tunnel, a freight-train accident, an earthquake and an industrial accident.

"We have also deployed human-robot teams to assist in damage assessment after two major earthquakes in Italy in 2012 and 2016.  I will present examples of our human-robot disaster response missions and discuss what we have learnt about the needs for human-robot teamwork support, considering teaming both at the micro-level (robot-operator dyad) as well as macro-level - humans in different roles also at different command levels", says Ivana Kruijff-Korbayová.

Video: (Above) The TRADR project develops solutions for perception and modeling of dynamic environments, robot action and human-robot teaming in the context of robot-assisted disaster response. The video highlights the system components and functionalities tested during the TRADR Joint Exercise in July 2016 in Prague with focus on the ground robot platforms, situation awareness and team communication.


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Ivana Kruijff-KorbayováIvana Kruijff-Korbayová is a senior researcher and project leader in the Multilingual Technologies Lab of the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence in Saarbruecken, Germany (DFKI,, where she is leading the Talking Robots Group ( and the DFKI Competence Center for Emergency Response and Recovery Management (

She has more than 70 peer-reviewed publications and has had leading roles in several national and EU-funded projects.

2013-2017 she coordinated the European integrated projects NIFTi ( and TRADR (, which ocused on the cooperation of human-robot teams in disaster response.

On Sept 1 2016 she led the deployment of a TRADR human-robot team to support structure damage assessment in the earthquake-struck Amatrice, Italy.

Ivana Kruijff-KorbayováIvana Kruijff-Korbayová holds a degree in Electrical Engineering from the Czech Technical University (1992) and a PhD in mathematical linguistics from Charles University (1998), both in Prague, Czech Republic.

1999-2000 she held a British Academy Visiting Fellowship and a Royal Society / NATO Postdoctoral Fellowship for research in discourse semantics at the University of Edinburgh, U.K.

2001-2010 she held a research position at the Department of Computational Linguistics and Phonetics, Saarland University, Saarbruecken.

Dr Ivana Kruijff-Korbayová is a member of the CTIF Commission for Extrication & New Technology.




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