A Survey on Unmanned Surface Vehicles for Disaster Robotics: Main Challenges and Directions.


School of Technology, Pontíficia Universidade Católica do Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, RS 90619-900, Brazil. [Email]


Disaster robotics has become a research area in its own right, with several reported cases of successful robot deployment in actual disaster scenarios. Most of these disaster deployments use aerial, ground, or underwater robotic platforms. However, the research involving autonomous boats or Unmanned Surface Vehicles (USVs) for Disaster Management (DM) is currently spread across several publications, with varying degrees of depth, and focusing on more than one unmanned vehicle-usually under the umbrella of Unmanned Marine Vessels (UMV). Therefore, the current importance of USVs for the DM process in its different phases is not clear. This paper presents the first comprehensive survey about the applications and roles of USVs for DM, as far as we know. This work demonstrates that there are few current deployments in disaster scenarios, with most of the research in the area focusing on the technological aspects of USV hardware and software, such as Guidance Navigation and Control, and not focusing on their actual importance for DM. Finally, to guide future research, this paper also summarizes our own contributions, the lessons learned, guidelines, and research gaps.


ASC,USC,USV,autonomous boat,autonomous surface craft,disaster management,disaster robotics,floods,hazard,hurricanes,landslides,search and rescue,survey,tsunamis,unmanned surface craft,unmanned surface vehicle,