It is said that a survival rate declines greatly if the survivors are not rescued within 72 hours after the occurrence of a disaster. Therefore, the establishment of rapid search technology on survivors is an urgent matter. For this reason, we have been carrying out research to install a microphone array on the drone and apply the robot audition technique to it so that it can suppress the noise of the drone itself and noise such as wind, detect the voices of the survivors.
There are other searching technologies using a drone with a camera or camera-related device, but those approaches do not work at nighttime, in a dark place, and or when the survivors are under the rubble.
So far, in cooperation with Waseda University and Kumamoto University, we developed an all-weather microphone array and installed it in the drone to estimate the three dimensional positions of sound sources in real time. We obtain “sound visualization” interface by displaying the orders on the map.
We are also conducting research on “a technique to distinguish sounds related to human only from various sounds detected in the system.”
In the near future, we are hoping that drone equipped with this technology can be used under the noise to find the survivors in the disaster area, and it will be a promising tool.”