This paper aims to provide an insight into the future for disaster relief (DR) and search and rescue (SAR) robots by considering research activities which seek to address real-world applications and by identifying key user requirements and development priorities.
Following a short introduction, this first provides a brief overview of the use of robots in DR and SAR and gives examples of organisations promoting their use. This is followed by details of development programmes aimed at meeting users’ requirements. Specific needs are identified and considered in detail and were derived from both the literature and through discussions with users. This paper concludes with a tabulated summary of key development priorities.
This study shows that several collaborative research programmes aim to address real DR and SAR applications, with robots being tested in simulated disaster scenarios. A number of key user requirements and development priorities are identified for aerial, ground and marine robots.
By identifying a number of specific requirements, this paper will assist in focussing research and development activities towards real users’ needs.
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