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  1. We present methods for autonomous collaborative surveying of volcanic CO 2 emissions using aerial robots. CO 2 is a useful predictor of volcanic eruptions and an influential greenhouse gas. However, current CO 2 mapping methods are hazardous and inefficient, as a result, only a small fraction of CO 2 emitting volcanoes have been surveyed. We develop algorithms and a platform to measure volcanic CO 2 emissions. The Dragonfly Unpiloted Aerial Vehicle (UAV) platform is capable of long-duration CO 2 collection flights in harsh environments. We implement two survey algorithms on teams of Dragonfly robots and demonstrate that they effectively map gas emissions and locate the highest gas concentrations. Our experiments culminate in a successful field test of collaborative rasterization and gradient descent algorithms in a challenging real-world environment at the edge of the Valles Caldera supervolcano. Both algorithms treat multiple flocking UAVs as a distributed flexible instrument. Simultaneous sensing in multiple UAVs gives scientists greater confidence in estimates of gas concentrations and the locations of sources of those emissions. These methods are also applicable to a range of other airborne concentration mapping tasks, such as pipeline leak detection and contaminant localization.
  2. Decaying infrastructure maintenance cost allocation depends heavily on accurate and safe inspection in the field. New tools to conduct inspections can assist in prioritizing investments in maintenance and repairs. The industrial revolution termed as “Industry 4.0” is based on the intelligence of machines working with humans in a collaborative workspace. Contrarily, infrastructure management has relied on the human for making day-to-day decisions. New emerging technologies can assist during infrastructure inspections, to quantify structural condition with more objective data. However, today’s owners agree in trusting the inspector’s decision in the field over data collected with sensors. If data collected in the field is accessible during the inspections, the inspector decisions can be improved with sensors. New research opportunities in the human–infrastructure interface would allow researchers to improve the human awareness of their surrounding environment during inspections. This article studies the role of Augmented Reality (AR) technology as a tool to increase human awareness of infrastructure in their inspection work. The domains of interest of this research include both infrastructure inspections (emphasis on the collection of data of structures to inform management decisions) and emergency management (focus on the data collection of the environment to inform human actions). This article describes themore »use of a head-mounted device to access real-time data and information during their field inspection. The authors leverage the use of low-cost smart sensors and QR code scanners integrated with Augmented Reality applications for augmented human interface with the physical environment. This article presents a novel interface architecture for developing Augmented Reality–enabled inspection to assist the inspector’s workflow in conducting infrastructure inspection works with two new applications and summarizes the results from various experiments. The main contributions of this work to computer-aided community are enabling inspectors to visualize data files from database and real-time data access using an Augmented Reality environment.« less
  3. null (Ed.)