Marsupial and shape-shifting robots for urban search and rescue Academic Article uri icon


  • Lightweight mobile robots could benefit urban search and rescue (USAR) while reducing the risk to humans and dogs. Shape-lifting marsupial robots are developed for these purposes. A shape-lifting robot can change configuration to adapt to its surroundings as it navigates through voids. A serpentine robot has flexible mechanical linkages giving it a high number of degrees of freedom. This lets the robot penetrate constricted voids and twist itself to follow tortous tunnels. Although shape-lifting and serpentine robots can navigate through tight spaces, their significant limitations interfere with their being fielded. To solve this problem, a marsupial team that consists of a large robot that carries one or smaller robots to the task site, is developed.

altmetric score

  • 3

author list (cited authors)

  • Murphy, R. R.

citation count

  • 109

publication date

  • March 2000