The Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction is being held 14-18 March 2015 in Sendai City, Japan. The IEEE Robotics & Automation Society is co-organizing the Public Forum on Social Implementation of Disaster Robotics.
This symposium introduces the current state of disaster robots and the gap to their social implementation by the world top-runners, and discusses the action plans to be taken for the future disaster mitigation.
Robotics is becoming a powerful tool for disaster mitigation, response and recovery after its history of 50 years. For example, unmanned aerial vehicles can quickly survey wide disaster areas, remotely-operated underwater vehicles can repair leakage of subsea oil plants, and unmanned ground vehicles work in contaminated areas of damaged nuclear power plants.
The contribution of robotics is mainly 1) for performing tasks that human and conventional tools cannot (e.g. those at inaccessible places and in contaminated areas), 2) for reducing risks (e.g. those of potential explosion, toxic agents and radiation), and/or 3) for reducing time and cost (e.g. quick surveillance of potentially damaged facilities at high places without scaffolds).
The recent evolution of robotics and component technologies is rapidly enhancing their applicable areas and tasks. Remote robotic systems, for example, could gather information from sky 20 years ago. At present, they can approach to structures of interest in the neighborhood for detailed visual inspection from sky, and can enter damaged buildings through narrow entrance for searching victims. Autonomy and robot intelligence reduce responders' load, and integrate gathered information with measured 3D maps. For this reason, specialists predict that robotics would become an essential tool of disaster mitigation, response and recovery in ten years.
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Posted 26 January 2015