Creating robust and agile robots that can walk, fly and swim into unstructured environments and assist rescuers
After a natural disaster such as an earthquake or flood, it is often very dangerous for teams of rescue workers to go into affected areas to look for victims and survivors.
The idea behind robots for rescue activities is to create robust robots that can travel into areas too dangerous for humans and rescue dogs. Robots can be used to assess the situation and to locate people who may be trapped and to relay the location back to the rescue teams, so that all efforts can be concentrated on areas where victims are known to be. Robots are also being developed to carry medical supplies and food, thereby focusing resources where they are most needed.
The main research issues within the field of mobile robotics for search and rescue mission are durability and usability of robots – how to design robots that are easily transported, can function efficiently in all weather conditions and that have long lasting power, and robots that can navigate themselves and have effective enough sensors to pick out victims.