Disaster Robots

Gaithersburg Plane Crash and House Fire by mcfrsnews is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

“Gaithersburg Plane Crash and House Fire” by mcfrsnews is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

By: Christopher Haase, Journalist

Disaster robots are robots that, contrary to their name, actually help people recover from disasters and find survivors from natural and man-made disasters. There are many different types of disaster robots, and they can be used for different purposes. For example, you could have a drone that can fly overhead after a forest fire and look for survivors, or a treaded robot that could crawl into a burned out house to clear rubble from on top of a person. These robots can serve multiple purposes. Such as an RC boat that can carry people and clear rubble from a flooded area.

You could have a robot that has treads, but also has a rotor so it can fly. This drone could fly out to beached boats and land to see if there are stranded people. It could also fly over a burned-out forest, land near someone, and start transmitting a GPS signal to let rescue services find the stranded person.

A disadvantage to drones, though, is that new people will have to be trained to fly the drones. Although this wouldn’t be too much of a setback, because people already have to be trained for SAR operations. Another disadvantage is that the equipment will most likely be very expensive. The companies could raise money and get the new technology that is needed. The last two disadvantages to drone are that if we start having drones be the center of our rescue efforts, it may put people out of a job, and if the signal or battery goes out, you can’t get it back. It’s not like flying a drone around your house, there is way too much terrain to cover to get one drone.  There are many pros and cons to having drones do the work for us, but it could save us a lot of time and effort if we use them.