Situations like 9-11 have taught rescue crews a lot about the inherent dangers of any type of rescue situation that deals with collapsed buildings or a potential structure collapse. It is a situation that every first responder hopes they never find themselves in, but they also accept wholeheartedly as being part of their mission, should the need arise that they have to do it. It can be a very dangerous situation, to say the least, when a first responder has to go into a structure that may collapse further at any minute. Robots may soon play a part in working along first responders to help keep them safe and perform rescues in situations that may not be survivable by human beings.
How did this all come about? Every time there is a crisis in the world, such as the earthquake in Haiti or the tragedy of 9-11, experts look at it and examine it to see what can be done differently, or better than the last time. Hats off to the first responders around the world that fearlessly put their lives on the line for others in times of crisis, but experts feel they may be able to keep them safer by adding robots to their search and rescue teams.
In the summer of 2015, a competition will be held to help bring robot assisted rescue teams into the fold in the near future. The United States Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) will be the sponsor of the competition that will be held in Pomona, California. The contest will feature the robots doing some preassigned tasks to simulate the conditions they may be useful in helping with in the event that there was an actual tragedy. DARPA hopes the competition will pave the way for more advanced robotics in the future, and that it will make these robot first responders a reality to help save human first responders lives in the process.
The ‘DARPA Robotics Challenge’ will feature teams from South Korea, Germany, the USA and elsewhere around the globe. Some were invited based on their research, and other teams had to qualify in a preliminary event. There is over three million dollars in cash prize money to be won by the top three teams. The competition will feature each team’s robot doing several predetermined tasks and there will also be one surprise task. The robots will be asked to do such things as get up from a lying position, turn off a switch, make a hole through a wall, walk 30 feet, drive a vehicle and exit a building. During the preliminary events that led to the finals, the bots were able to be tethered for stability, but that will not be the case in the final event.
It will be interesting to see how this all plays out, and how well these robots perform their assigned tasks. When places like NASA have a robot entered, you can be pretty sure it will be an amazing competition, and hopefully it will one day lead to more efficient rescues and reduced loss of life for our nation’s first responders.
Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.
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