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CORDIS Express: Robots to the rescue in disaster situations

Real-life disaster scenarios have awakened the robotics community to the limitations of existing emergency-response robots. This edition of CORDIS Express highlights the EU-funded researchers that are redoubling efforts to ensure that disaster response robots can better support rescue workers in future emergencies.

Research in the lab and on-site simulations have helped us to improve the capabilities of emergency-response robots in recent years. However when real disaster strikes unexpected complications lay bare the limitations of test scenarios. In light of the lessons learned following the Fukushima nuclear accident, EU-funded researchers are following a range of different pathways to advance emergency-response robotics. The CENTAURO project, for example, is developing a human-robot symbiotic system where a human operator is tele-present with its whole body in a Centaur-like robot. This robot is capable of robust locomotion and dexterous manipulation in the rough terrain and austere conditions characteristic of disasters. The TRADR project team, meanwhile, is focusing on developing novel science and technology for human-robot teams to assist in disaster response efforts over multiple missions. These and other project teams may take interest in the EURATHLON project which is supporting and encouraging the robotics community through its outdoor robotics competition which invites teams to test their robots in realistic mock emergency-response scenarios. The final EURATHLON competition will require a team of terrestrial, marine and aerial robots to work collaboratively to survey a disaster scene, collect environmental data and identify critical hazards. This EURATHLON 2015 Grand Challenge will take place from 17 to 25 September 2015. This week’s edition of CORDIS Express takes a look at these and other projects and stories that focus on emergency-response robotics. - Long-Term Human-Robot Teaming for Robot-Assisted Disaster Response - WALK-MAN sets the bar high for DARPA’s Robotics Challenge Finals - Support Action for a Targeted Intelligent Autonomous Robotics Contest: The European Roboathlon - Robust Mobility and Dexterous Manipulation in Disaster Response by Fullbody Telepresence in a Centaur-like Robot - Trending Science: Three European teams demonstrate progress in emergency response robotics since Fukushima disaster - TIRAMISU demonstrates new demining tools in Brussels


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