By Nicola Nosengo

Current research is aligned with the need of rescue workers but robustness and ease of use remain significant barriers to adoption, NCCR Robotics researchers find after reviewing the field and consulting with field operators.

Robots for search and rescue are developing at an impressive pace, but they must become more robust and easier to use in order to be widely adopted, and researchers in the field must devote more effort to these aspects in the future. This is one of the main findings by a group of NCCR Robotics researchers who focus on search-and-rescue applications. After reviewing the recent developments in technology and interviewing rescue workers, they have found that the work by the robotics research community is well aligned with the needs of those who work in the field. Consequently, although current adoption of state-of-the-art robotics in disaster response is still limited, it is expected to grow quickly in the future. However, more work is needed from the research community to overcome some key barriers to adoption.
The analysis is the result of a group effort from researchers who participate in the Rescue Robotics Grand Challenge, one of the main research units of NCCR

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