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GLIMPSE: Intelligent Multi-drone Emergency Response System

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The GLIMPSE project aims to develop novel AI-based algorithms and cooperative control techniques to address fundamental challenges in the use of a fleet of drones in search and rescue (SAR) missions and enable this promising technology to go well beyond the current state-of-the-art and ultimately support first responders in their operations.

One of the biggest challenges today’s society faces is its resilience to severe disasters such as earthquakes, wildfires, and floods. Besides the loss of lives and the damages, these disastrous events cause political, social, and economic disturbances and greatly amplifying the tragedy. When disasters occur, an immediate life-saving response is essential to rescue people from imminent danger. The main objective of this life-saving response, i.e., the search and rescue (SAR) mission, is to rescue the affected population in the shortest possible time, while at the same time ensuring the safety of the rescuers. Therefore, the efficiency in the organization, planning and execution of these SAR missions is essential and ultimately determines the number of people receiving assistance.

In this project, we envision that a team of autonomous flying robots (i.e., drones) or Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) could become an essential technological tool to revolutionize SAR missions through autonomous functionalities enabled by Artificial Intelligence (AI).

Currently, drones serve merely as an “eye in the sky”, providing only a bird’s eye view of the situation at hand using camera payloads. Decisions are solely based on the human operator, which analyses the received data and gives an expert opinion of the situation on the ground.

This project will develop the theory and tools, that would help transform an aerial vehicle into an intelligent autonomous life-saving machine and ultimately support first responders in their operations. In addition, the developed techniques will enable researchers to build and advance the state-of-the-art in the years after the end of the project.

The Project GLIMPSE INTEGRATED/0916/0035 is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund and the Republic of Cyprus through the Research and Innovation Foundation’s RESTART 2016-2020 Programme for Research, Technological Development and Innovation.

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