A Decade of Rescue Robots**This work was supported by NSF Grants CNS- 0923203, CNS-114244, 1IIS 0636173, CMS 0554059, CMS-0229809 and Office of Naval Research Grants N000140610775, 2132-032LO, N00014-01-1-0409 Conference Paper uri icon


  • This video offers a retrospective of the 26 disasters where land, marine, or aerial robots have been deployed, starting with the first use of rescue robots at the 2001 World Trade Center Collapse and continuing through the 2011 Tohoku Tsunami/Fukushima nuclear event. While robots have not found a living survivor, possibly because they arrive on average 4.5 days after the event, the video clips illustrate the contributions of robots to searching for survivors, reconnaissance and mapping, inspection of buildings, and inspection of bridges and shipping channels. The clips also highlight four open research questions: human-robot interaction, mobile manipulation, reliable wireless networks, and obstacle avoidance for UAVs and UMVs. Use of robots is accelerating and their contributions to disaster prevention, preparedness, response, and recovery will grow and lead to new challenges for research. © 2012 IEEE.

author list (cited authors)

  • Murphy, R. R.

citation count

  • 25

publication date

  • October 2012