Towards Robot-Assisted Mass-Casualty Triage Conference Paper uri icon


  • This paper provides a discussion on how teleoperated robots could be utilized to do the simple triage of victims of a multiple casualty incident. Previous work in the area has focused on using robots to actively aid a single victim. However, when there are multiple victims in an incident, they should be sorted based upon their need for health care, so that more lives can be saved. We foresee that robots can help responders triage victims in hazardous environments, non-accessible places, and large scale incidents. The Simple Triage And Rapid Treatment (START) triage protocol is described in this paper, and reviewed in terms of the capabilities and limitations of the current robotics sensor technology. START provides first responders with an algorithm to sort victims based on four signs, in the following order: mobility, respiratory frequency, blood perfusion and mental state. This paper describes how the assessment of each of those four signs challenges the current robotics technology. In particular, assessment of respiratory frequency and blood perfusion cannot be performed by robots accurately. More advances in the development of sensors for remote acquisition of physiological data are needed. We identify several other issues that robotic research need to address to account for robot-assisted mass-casualty triage: broad range of action for robot teleoperation and reachback, fine control of the robot's movements during navigation and victim assessment, adequate placement of the physiological sensors on the robotic platform, as well as ergonomical design of such sensors, development of compliant manipulators that could reposition a victim safely, and the improvement of the social interaction of the robot with the victims. © 2007 IEEE.

author list (cited authors)

  • Chang, C., & Murphy, R. R.

publication date

  • January 1, 2007 11:11 AM