Search and Rescue Robot (SAR)
Robotic assisted Urban Search and Rescue aims to minimise human involvement in high risk emergency situations. These may include disaster zones caused by nature, terrorism or contamination. While a fast and reliable method of detecting people trapped under rubble could save thousands of lives, the efficiency of reported standalone SAR robots has been impeded by several factors. These include accessibility, efficiency and cost.
This idea assumes a three generation hierarchy of robots, the grandmother, mother and daughter. The Grandmother is a large, complex robot designed to act as a launch platform for the mothers and as a base station to handle complex software tasks. The mother robots are very mobile, contain sensors for localisation, mapping and navigation, and are responsible for launching the daughters.
The daughters are launched from the mother, with a range of only 100 metres. They are small enough to crawl into crevices and fissures and are equipped with sensors to detect a trapped human. They are completely disposable, it is not expected that any of them will be recovered once launched from the mother. Communications with the daughters will only be short range, because there will always be either another daughter or a host mother robot within 100 metres. The daughter informs the mother that it has detected a person, the mother processes this information, providing localisation and other pertinent information to the grandmother that then coordinates a human rescue effort.
Thomas Roehr (2008), Control of a Hierarchical Team of Robots for Urban Search and Rescue