Search-and-rescue operations are delicate, time-sensitive, and intense. That's why researchers are always looking for new ways to unload some of the dirty work onto robots: machines that will help rescuers get the to the bottom of the rubble—or the top of the mountain—faster and far more efficiently.
DARPA, the Pentagon's techno-happy think tank, has announced a contest to spur the development of robots that could lend a helping hand during an emergency. The competition involves several tracks — including one to program the software for a pre-existing humanoid bot, and one to create a robot that can take on any…
In an environment as inhospitable as Japan's wasted Fukushima nuclear plant, there's no feasible way for humans to partake in salvage efforts. Which is why Japan has called on the services of 23 brave rescue robots to enter the heart of darkness.