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Article
Publication date: 21 March 2016

Robert Bogue

– This paper aims to discuss search and rescue (SAR) and disaster relief robot developments, trials and applications and to answer the question posed in the title.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to discuss search and rescue (SAR) and disaster relief robot developments, trials and applications and to answer the question posed in the title.

Design/methodology/approach

Following a short introduction, this first describes Integrated Components for Assisted Rescue and Unmanned Search operations, a recent, collaborative, European research project, and euRathlon, a major robotics competition. It then highlights the role of the centre for robot-assisted search and rescue, and provides examples of the deployment of terrestrial, marine and airborne robots in real SAR and disaster relief situations. It concludes with a brief discussion.

Findings

This shows that SAR and disaster relief robots are the topic of an extensive development effort, and many have performed well in simulated disaster scenarios. Terrestrial, marine and airborne robots have been used in many real disaster relief situations since 2001, and the use of unmanned aerial vehicles has proliferated due to recent technological developments. Robots now play an important role in supporting SAR teams, and this will certainly increase as the technologies are developed further.

Originality/value

In an era characterized by extreme weather events and continuing military conflicts, robots play an increasingly important role in supporting human disaster response teams. This article provides details of developments, trials and real-world deployments of such robots.

Details

Industrial Robot: An International Journal, vol. 43 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-991X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 23 October 2007

B. McCarthy, C. Edwards and M. Dunmore

This paper aims to discuss network transparency in a mountain rescue domain and aims to introduce the relatively new research concept of MANEMO (MANET + NEMO) and the…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to discuss network transparency in a mountain rescue domain and aims to introduce the relatively new research concept of MANEMO (MANET + NEMO) and the mountain rescue IP network model developed at Lancaster University.

Design/methodology/approach

An analysis of IP mobility techniques that have been designed for use in the Internet today is provided as background, as well as an overview of the whole MANEMO domain. Highlights the importance of the MANEMO concept by working with real scenarios and developing practical implementations (as opposed to simulation).

Findings

During the research it was found that combining the localised multi‐hop behaviour of MANET techniques and the global reachability of NEMO can be a mutually beneficial process. The benefits afforded by using MANET techniques can bring advantages to NEMO scenarios and vice‐versa. Identifying this fact has given rise to the development of two distinct MANEMO scenarios, MANET‐Centric and NEMO‐Centric MANEMO. Finally, the Unified MANEMO Architecture (UMA) implementation, which attempts to support both of these scenarios in an efficient and feasible manner.

Research limitations/implications

Regarding UMA, research continues into addressing the security implications of this approach and the benefits that multi‐homing can provide.

Originality/value

The paper illustrates how MANEMO can conceivably provide powerful solutions to many important scenarios.

Details

Internet Research, vol. 17 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1066-2243

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Article
Publication date: 2 May 2008

Steven Dubowsky, Samuel Kesner, Jean‐Sébastien Plante and Penelope Boston

This paper seeks to present recent work demonstrating the feasibility of Microbots' mobility in rough terrain. Microbots are a new search and rescue concept based on the…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper seeks to present recent work demonstrating the feasibility of Microbots' mobility in rough terrain. Microbots are a new search and rescue concept based on the deployment of teams of small spherical mobile robots. In this concept, hundreds to thousands of cm‐scale, sub‐kilogram Microbots are released over a search site such as collapsed building rubble or caves. Microbots use hopping, bouncing, and rolling to infiltrate subterranean spaces in search of possible survivors.

Design/methodology/approach

The feasibility of the Microbot mobility concept is evaluated through laboratory prototypes and mobility simulations.

Findings

Experimental studies have demonstrated the feasibility of using dielectric elastomer actuators (DEAs) to generate autonomous hops. High‐efficiency hydrogen fuel cells were shown to be able to power DEAs. Simulation results show that Microbots of proper diameter and hop height can successfully traverse very rough terrains.

Research limitations/implications

The implication of this research is that small hopping robots are appropriate for certain search and rescue missions. The limitation of the research to date is that issues of control, path planning, and communication have not yet been addressed.

Practical implications

Key technologies of the Microbot mobility, that use high‐energy‐density micro fuel cells combined with low cost and lightweight DEAs, are feasible. These technologies have the potential to make a significant impact on the search and rescue robots.

Originality/value

These results suggest that a team of Microbots‐based DEAs and micro fuel cells can be a useful and effective tool for search and rescue operations.

Details

Industrial Robot: An International Journal, vol. 35 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-991X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 28 August 2007

Zhelong Wang and Hong Gu

This study aims to investigate locomotion mechanisms of different urban search and rescue (USAR) robots currently being researched or commercially available on the market.

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to investigate locomotion mechanisms of different urban search and rescue (USAR) robots currently being researched or commercially available on the market.

Design/methodology/approach

USAR robots are categorized by the type of their mobility. Detailed illustration and analysis have been given for each USAR robot in the paper.

Findings

The paper finds that none of current USAR robots can practically and autonomously carry out rescue work in a complex and unstructured environment. Hence, responding to the practical requirements of highly challenging USAR tasks, a team of USAR robots based on different locomotion mechanisms may be a good solution to undertake rescue activities.

Research limitations/implications

The paper provides guidance in the design of future USAR robots.

Originality/value

The paper investigates locomotion mechanisms of different USAR robots in detail.

Details

Industrial Robot: An International Journal, vol. 34 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-991X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 7 November 2016

Xue Lin, Lina Zhai, Mengying Zhang, Yunyi Wang and Jun Li

The ergonomic performance of protective clothing for earthquake disaster search and rescue team members is significant for its protective performance. The paper aims to…

Abstract

Purpose

The ergonomic performance of protective clothing for earthquake disaster search and rescue team members is significant for its protective performance. The paper aims to discuss these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

By experimental simulations of the rescue tasks, an evaluation system for the protective clothing in both static and dynamic conditions was designed and established in this study. In static evaluation, motion capture system was used to measure the ranges of motions. The mobility was analyzed by the comprehensive evaluation method. In dynamic experiments, three types of rescue tasks were simulated for ergonomic evaluation. The results were analyzed based on the multi-levels joint evaluation method.

Findings

It was shown that the established evaluation system could meet well with the requirements of the ergonomic evaluation.

Originality/value

Fuzzy comprehensive evaluation method is an effective tool in ergonomic evaluation of clothing. The newly designed coverall and suit are of better ergonomic performance compared with the in-service clothing.

Details

International Journal of Clothing Science and Technology, vol. 28 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0955-6222

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 1 August 2006

Abstract

Details

Disaster Prevention and Management: An International Journal, vol. 15 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0965-3562

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Article
Publication date: 5 April 2019

Robert Bogue

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…

Abstract

Purpose

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.

Design/methodology/approach

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.

Findings

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.

Originality/value

By identifying a number of specific requirements, this paper will assist in focussing research and development activities towards real users’ needs.

Details

Industrial Robot: the international journal of robotics research and application, vol. 46 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-991X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 4 September 2007

Megan Denver, Jaime Perez and B.E. Aguirre

The purpose of this paper is to provide background information on a rarely studied response capability of communities across the USA, local, mostly volunteer search and

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide background information on a rarely studied response capability of communities across the USA, local, mostly volunteer search and rescue (SAR) teams.

Design/methodology/approach

Information on local teams was collected from January 2005 until February 2006 through internet searches, online SAR organization lists, and by e‐mailing a survey to local teams. A smaller, previously used database was used to verify the final list of teams and 57 new teams were added in this manner. An SPSS database was created using all the fields collated from the survey.

Findings

It was found that there are 1,150 teams in the USA, which range from one team per State to 79 teams in California. Local SAR teams had a quicker response time than federal teams, while maintaining better equipment and training than emergent volunteers. These teams, unlike the federally funded US&R teams, rely mostly on donations and community fundraisers to continue operating.

Research limitations/implications

Missing data were the most consistent problem faced. Web sites, web links and e‐mail addresses often had expired or did not contain the right information, some teams existed without having a web site (and therefore were not included in the database); also response to the e‐mail survey was low.

Practical implications

Integrating interested local SAR teams into official multi‐organizational disaster and emergency responses could provide valuable additional resources to emergency and incident managers, would allow for better funding for local SAR, and could facilitate recognition to these often overlooked teams.

Originality/value

This paper provides preliminary information on local SAR teams in the USA.

Details

Disaster Prevention and Management: An International Journal, vol. 16 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0965-3562

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 12 April 2018

Sebastian Drexel, Susanne Zimmermann-Janschitz and Robert J. Koester

A search and rescue incident is ultimately all about the location of the missing person; hence, geotechnical tools are critical in providing assistance to search planners…

Abstract

Purpose

A search and rescue incident is ultimately all about the location of the missing person; hence, geotechnical tools are critical in providing assistance to search planners. One critical role of Geographic Information Systems (GISs) is to define the boundaries that define the search area. The literature mostly focuses on ring- and area-based methods but lacks a linear/network approach. The purpose of this paper is to present a novel network approach that will benefit search planners by saving time, requires less data layers and provides better results.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper compares two existing models (Ring Model, Travel Time Cost Surface Model (TTCSM)) against a new network model (Travel Time Network Model) by using a case study from a mountainous area in Austria. Newest data from the International Search and Rescue Incident Database are used for all three models. Advantages and disadvantages of each model are evaluated.

Findings

Network analyses offer a fruitful alternative to the Ring Model and the TTCSM for estimating search areas, especially for regions with comprehensive trail/road networks. Furthermore, only few basic data are needed for quick calculation.

Practical implications

The paper supports GIS network analyses for wildland search and rescue operations to raise the survival chances of missing persons due to optimizing search area estimation.

Originality/value

The paper demonstrates the value of the novel network approach, which requires fewer GIS layers and less time to generate a solution. Furthermore, the paper provides a comparison between all three potential models.

Details

International Journal of Emergency Services, vol. 7 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2047-0894

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 2 April 2021

Patrick Holzmann, Christian Wankmüller, Dietfried Globocnik and Erich J. Schwarz

Mountaineering and related activities are increasingly becoming popular and are accompanied by an increase in medical incidents. Emergency operations in mountainous…

Abstract

Purpose

Mountaineering and related activities are increasingly becoming popular and are accompanied by an increase in medical incidents. Emergency operations in mountainous terrain are time-critical and often pose major logistical challenges for rescuers. Drones are expected to improve the operational performance of mountain rescuers. However, they are not yet widely used in mountain rescue missions. This paper examines the determinants that drive the behavioral intention of mountain rescuers to adopt drones in rescue missions.

Design/methodology/approach

This is a behavioral study that builds upon an extended model of the unified theory of acceptance and use of technology (UTAUT) and investigates the relationship between individual attitudes, perceptions, and intentions for drone adoption. Original survey data of 146 mountain rescuers were analyzed using moderated ordinary least squares (OLS) regression analysis.

Findings

Results indicate that the behavioral intention to use drones in mountain rescue missions is driven by the expected performance gains and facilitating conditions. Favorable supporting conditions and experience with drones further moderate the relationship between performance expectancy and behavioral intention. The effects for effort expectancy, social influence, and demonstrations were not significant.

Practical implications

Rescue organizations and stakeholders are recommended to consider the identified determinants in the implementation of drones in emergency logistics. Drone manufacturers targeting mountain rescue organizations are advised to focus on operational performance, provide sufficient support and training, and promote the gathering of practical experience.

Originality/value

A tailored-model that provides first empirical results on the relevance of personal and environmental factors for the acceptance of drones in emergency logistics is presented.

Details

International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, vol. 51 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0960-0035

Keywords

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