Disaster Robotics

  • Robin R. Murphy
  • Satoshi Tadokoro
  • Alexander Kleiner


Rescue robots have been used in at least 28 disasters in six countries since the first deployment to the 9/11 World Trade Center collapse. All types of robots have been used (land, sea, and aerial) and for all phases of a disaster (prevention, response, and recovery). This chapter will cover the basic characteristics of disasters and their impact on robotic design, and describe the robots actually used in disasters to date, with a special focus on Fukushima Daiichi, which is providing a rich proving ground for robotics. The chapter covers promising robot designs (e. g., snakes, legged locomotion) and concepts (e. g., robot teams or swarms, sensor networks), as well as progress and open issues in autonomy. The methods of evaluation in benchmarks for rescue robotics are discussed and the chapter concludes with a discussion of the fundamental problems and open issues facing rescue robotics, and their evolution from an interesting idea to widespread adoption.


Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Situation Awareness Autonomous Underwater Vehicle World Trade Center Snake Robot 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.





Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence


autonomous underwater vehicle


chemical, biological, nuclear, radiological, or explosive


Carnegie Mellon University


central processing unit


Center for Robot-Assisted Search and Rescue


US Department of Homeland Security


global positioning system


human–robot interaction


Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers


Japan Atomic Energy Agency


US Mine Safety and Health Administration


National Aeronautics and Space Agency


New England Robotics Validation and Experimentation


National Institute of Standards and Technology


New Zealand Defence Force


human out of the loop control


radio frequency identification


remotely operated vehicle


simultaneous localization and mapping


Southwest Research Institute


unmanned aerial vehicle


unmanned ground vehicle


unmanned marine vehicle


urban search and rescue


unmanned surface vehicle


unmanned underwater vehicle


World Trade Center


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robin R. Murphy
    • 1
  • Satoshi Tadokoro
    • 2
  • Alexander Kleiner
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Computer Science and EngineeringTexas A&M UniversityCollege StationUSA
  2. 2.Graduate School of Information SciencesTohoku UniversitySendaiJapan
  3. 3.Department of Computer ScienceLinköping UniversityLinköpingSweden

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