Structural Firefighting

THE USE OF ROBOTS AS A SEARCH TOOL

Issue 10 and Volume 155.

BY DAVID PLATT Lieutenant Colonel John Blitch (ret.), director of the Center for Robotic Assisted Search and Rescue (CRASAR), requested a team of robot experts and suppliers to assist in search efforts at the World Trade Center (WTC) disaster site. New York City’s Office of Emergency Management requested CRASAR’s response directly. Blitch also had an understanding with Special Operations Command Deputy Chief Ray Downey to respond if needed. CRASAR is a nonprofit organization based in Littleton, Colorado, and was called to assist in the rescue efforts at the WTC using any available robots within hours of the September 11 disaster. Responders included Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA); U.S. Army Tank Automotive and Armaments Command-Army Research and Development Command-Explosive Ordnance Disposal Division (USA TACOM-ARDEC-EOD); Dr. Robin Murphy, director of the Perceptual Robotics Laboratory, University of Southern Florida (USF), Space and Naval Warfare Command (SPAWAR); and Foster-Miller and iRobot, robot manufacturers.…

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