Robotic FireFighters

Year:  2013

Recent disasters, such as the Fukushima catastrophe, the attack on the WTC, the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, or the Mont Blanc Tunnel fire, have shown that post disaster management tasks still require considerable human intervention, even though the humans entering affected areas risk their health and lives, causing human tragedy and immense cost for national economies. With view to keeping these dangers and costs at bay, and to increasing effectiveness of disaster management operations, our long-term vision is that teams of autonomous robots equipped with sensors, manipulators, and communication capabilities will be able to enter dangerous, polluted or contaminated areas and to manage all the necessary tasks (e.g. search for survivors, evacuate injured persons, remove safety critical materials, clean up) without the need for explicit human assistance. This inspires the notion of Robotic FireFighters (RFF), in analogy to human fire brigades, where firemen (and firewomen) work together towards the common goal of getting a disaster under control.