Dr. Robin R. Murphy, Raytheon Professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at Texas A&M University, gave an invited talk to the Public Forum of the United Nations World Disaster Risk Reduction Conference in Sendai, Japan.
Murphy’s talk, “Current State and Achievement of Disaster Robots,” reported that ground, aerial or marine unmanned systems had been used for mitigation, response and recovery in 43 disasters in 13 countries between 2001 and 2014, with the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station’s (TEES) Center for Robot-Assisted Search and Rescue (CRASAR) participating in 17 of those events.
Murphy was part of a session that was organized by Dr. Satoshi Tadokoro, president-elect of the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society. Murphy and Tadokoro are recognized as the co-founders of disaster robotics.
The speakers at the conference consistently spoke of the need for roboticists to engage responders and industry in order to produce reliable and useful robots. The speakers also called on governments to create regional teams and caches and to smooth the regulations and policies that lead to an average delay of 4.7 days for robots to be used at a disaster.