Rescue robots in case of natural and man-made accidents

When the media constantly informs us about various prototypes of humanoids, crawling, climbing, and running robots are gaining more and more use in the urban environment, saving lives. Robots are capable of acting quickly in unpredictable and dangerous environments. Their vision, communication, and movement systems operate in a disaster area's harshest smoke, dust, and fire systems.

Today, rescue robots are most often used in emergencies of geological origin. Many cutting-edge developments are explicitly dedicated to the topic of earthquakes.

Search and rescue robots

The next task of the rescuers is to find the survivors. Dogs are, of course, a suitable way to search, but they can serve for a short period, and other work must be suspended so as not to disturb the animals. Dogs also may not always be able to get into difficult-to-pass places. These are cases where miniature robots, equipped with cameras and sensors to detect signs of life, can help a lot. Robots can see through walls and locate people under the rubble thanks to advanced radar technology. They can see moving people and fainted and lay on the floor.

In addition to the radar, the robot has sets of day and night vision cameras. During search and rescue operations, such robots are used to detect invaders and terrorists inside buildings. After finding the surviving people, the task comes up in supplying them with water, food, and communication. This task is achievable with small robotic transfers, penetrating difficult-to-pass places and carrying a payload, avoiding obstacles. And, of course, the survivors must be evacuated. Lifting heavy concrete blocks over fragile human bodies is a challenge even for the most experienced rescuers, but robots can easily detect and lift debris weighing up to a ton.

Quince and KOHGA 3 robots at the Fukushima-1 NPP

The developed Quince robot has already proved itself in work at the Fukushima-1 NPP. This is the only Japanese robot that has found application in eliminating an accident. It can wade through the most challenging blockages, transmit to a remote computer an image captured in poor visibility and almost complete darkness, take measurements of radiation and water levels, and also take samples of radioactive water and dust from underground rooms of power units. The KOHGA 3 reconnaissance robot was also used in Fukushima. The robot skillfully entered the destroyed building and surveyed in real-time. The device had to overcome obstacles using three surveillance cameras, a manipulator to take garbage and various other objects, and gas and radiation sensors transmitted their messages in real-time.

Man-made disasters such as the Chernobyl accident could have been done without so many casualties and damage if robots were used during the aftermath of the accident. After all, they could conduct search and rescue operations in areas engulfed in fire and other situations where the rescuers were helpless.

Robots as miner's helper

Working as a miner is considered one of the most challenging and dangerous professions. Gas explosions, flooding, debris, and landslides are all part of the difficult everyday life of miners. After an explosion at a mine, rescuers need time to assess the scale of the accident, build a rescue plan for the victims, and in fact, people may die during this time. Rescuers cannot go down into the mine right away, as there is a danger of exacerbating poisonous gases, flooded areas, and unstable structures. In this case, the use of robots is essential. A rescue robot can come to the rescue. Equipped with a powerful manipulator and lighting devices, the device can travel up to one and a half kilometers in tunnels dangerous for humans, reaching the accident victims.

Firefighting robots

Uncontrolled spread of fire causing material damage, harm to life and health of people, the interests of society and the state. Fires break out both through the fault of nature itself and through the fault of man, which happens most often. It is challenging for firefighters to find and rescue victims in a burning room. Therefore, it is logical if firefighters-robots will take over the work of firefighters-people. And similar devices exist. Some robots can evacuate people. Rescue robots are an effective tool in solving such a responsible matter as saving people. After all, many human systems are outdated, search and rescue services need modern technologies, and the environment in which rescuers work is very unpredictable. But you still can't do without the human factor. Let's hope that soon artificial intelligence will be able to carry out the search and rescue service in emergencies independently.

Rescue robots from LeoTronics

The LeoTronics team is developing a range of robots for extreme environments based on the universal TrackReitar tracked platform. The TrackReitar FFL firefighting robot has successfully passed field tests and prepared for mass production. Our engineers have worked on such concepts as a mobile manipulator TrackReitar UGV for business, a demining robot TrackReitar MineHunter, transporting robots for wounded people TrackReitar Medical and TrackReitar Rescue, and an inspection robot TrackReitar Inspector 3D.