Smart Emergency Response System (SERS)



Please download SERS info: SERS_Fly.pdf

Team Lead:

Justyna Zander

MathWorks, Inc.
3 Apple Hill Dr.,
Natick, MA 017060, USA
Phone: +1 508 647 4523

Team Members:

Pieter J. Mosterman, MathWorks
Yan Wan, UNT
Shengli Fu, UNT
Andy Chang, National Instruments
David Roberts, NCSU
Alper Bozkurt, NCSU
Jim Paunicka, Boeing
Howard Chizeck, U Washington, BluHaptics
Fredrik Ryden, U Washington, BluHaptics
Kevin Huang, U Washington
Taskin Padir, WPI
Yosuke Bando, MIT Media Lab
Daniel Dubois, MIT Media Lab
Konosuke Watanabe, MIT Media Lab

Project Description:

Aim: Technical system to save and serve as many lives as possible in an emergency.
Process: A coordinated response of human responders, heterogenuous autonomous vehicles (ground and aerial), humanoids, telerobots (human operated) and dogs.
Technology: Marriage of Cyber-Physical Systems and Data Analytics.
Effect: Empowered human who is served by autonomous devices and smart systems around.

The Smart Emergency Response System (SERS) connects cyber-physical technologies with humans in the loop to save lives, rescue people, and attend to their critical needs when disaster strikes.SERS physical elements include ground and aerial autonomous vehicles, drones, humanoids, human-operated telerobots, and trained search and rescue dogs equipped with real-time sensors. A robust communication fabric sets up diverse opportunistic and ad-hoc networks using WiFi, cellular, and Bluetooth media to connect people anytime, anywhere, and under any circumstance. Survivors can instantly send help requests using smartphone apps. Mission center decision makers and human first responders receive live video streams and real-time visualization in Google Earth.SERS supercomputing power sifts through millions of complex scenarios to most efficiently deploy a fleet of autonomous vehicles with requested provisions. SERS machines augment first responders in areas that are inaccessible or too dangerous for human intervention, while automated surveillance ensures safety and prevents crime. SERS creates opportunities for returning veterans to accomplish complex tasks as remote haptics operators. SERS automation technologies foster economic growth by increasing human productivity, making transportation and delivery cheaper and more accessible, and reducing the ecological footprint for future generations. SERS allows device app designers, developers, and grassroots entrepreneurs to grow new business models in communication, operations, and supply chain optimization. The long-term vision of the SERS project is to empower and augment humans with actionable intelligence and smart devices. This then raises society’s level of prosperity by preparing and employing a workforce qualified to operate and exploit technologies of today and tomorrow. MathWorks, University of North Texas, National Instruments, North Carolina State University, Boeing, University of Washington, BluHaptics, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, MIT Media Lab are participating.

Mailing list:

Data Interchange Requirements

Each team member should create a page and fill in all of the information contained in the template.

Media and PR Contact Leads:

Len Dieterle, Global PR Manager | MathWorks | EMail:
Franceen Shaughnessy, North American PR Specialist | MathWorks | EMail:

Long Abstract:

Disasters strike and we have to prepare. Much of responses to extreme emergency scenarios used to be a result of trial and error, and adhoc solution. The aftermath has been tremendously painful.

For example, the total cost of simply fire in the United States is estimated at $329 billion, or roughly 2.1% of U.S. gross domestic product. This estimate includes human and economic losses, costs of the fire service, built-in fire protection, and costs associated with the insurance industry. More abrupt and devastating emergencies, such as, the costliest ever disaster Hurricane Katrina (August 2005) was estimated for up to $300 billion in direct damage and $1 trillion in total (i.e., including indirect) damage. To compare, the material damage of the Kobe earthquake (Japan) in January 1995 was about $100 billion.

These numbers illustrate that adequate preparation before the disaster is critical for the nations. Creating a culture of preparedness is a necessity. Initiative and innovation ought to be rewarded.

With each new disaster, our ability to respond has improved, based upon lessons learned and painful experience. Emergency response and disaster plans have become ever better, and together with enhanced training and disaster drills, the quality and effectiveness of emergency response has become continually improved. However much of this improvement has been incremental, and has not taken advantage of new cyber-physical systems technologies and tools that are now available.

This Smart Emergency Response Systems project seeks to move emergency response to the next level—through incorporation of the products of cyber-physical systems research, in order to save lives and reduce costs. In addition, it opens the door to significant new economic and employment opportunities.

Key features of our approach comprise a common and shared responsibility among all stakeholders, including individuals, first responders, communities, and governments (at all levels)-- enabled with the application of cyber-physical technology. We focus on building the stabilization and economic growth. As a consortium, we respond to the cross-domain issues and provide solutions that we would not have achieved in separation. In particular, we deploy ground and aerial robotics, human-in-the-loop telerobotics, advanced sensors, search and rescue dogs, adaptive electronic communications and computer-enabled optimal resource allocation—all in a coordinated and adaptable framework for smart emergency response. This includes the coordination of individuals who volunteer to assist or to provide needed resources (by authorizing and registering them), and integrating their efforts with established first responders and agencies. This is all enabled by contemporary communication tools (such as smart phones) and methods of social networking and crowd-sourcing, combined with technological innovations that allow for network communication even when infrastructure has been seriously degraded.

The Smart Emergency Response System (SERS) connects cyber-physical technologies with humans in the loop to save lives, rescue people, and attend to their critical needs when disaster strikes.

The technology in this project has many additional benefits to our society:

SERS creates new employment opportunities for returning veterans as well as other unemployed, to accomplish remote tasks in remote or dangerous environments, using haptically-enabled teleoperation.

SERS promotes opportunities for device app designers, developers, and grassroots entrepreneurs to grow new business models in communication, operations, and supply chain optimization.

SERS automation, robotic and telerobotic technologies are expected to foster economic growth by increasing human productivity. Of particular note are capabilities to provide new opportunities for pollution cleanup, reduced environmental footprint, and transportation and delivery at reduced costs.

SmartEmergencyResponseSystems (last edited 2014-05-13 14:23:23 by JustynaZander)