Search and Rescue Robot
Natural disasters and accidents lead to large-scale destruction of human lives and properties. In such cases, no matter how hazardous the situation, rescuing as many survivors as quickly as possible or supplying food, water and medicine becomes a top priority. Rescue robots fulfill this complex task which is otherwise very hazardous for human rescue workers to undertake.
Depending on the application, rescue robots can have different functions, structure or size. A typical rescue robot is mainly composed of sensors, processing unit, wireless communication module, audio module and an output driver module. The often-used sensors in a rescue robot include temperature sensor, gas sensors, a camera (image sensor), ultrasonic sensors, infrared sensors, laser sensors, gyroscopes and accelerometers. Their job is to collect environment information on site, detect obstacles, navigate and locate robot itself, and find vital signs. Processing unit could include a multimedia processor and a microcontroller (MCU or DSC). Multimedia processor is used to implement image processing algorithms. Microcontroller (MCU or DSC) is used to process signals from sensors, implement control algorithms, and give instructions to drive servo and BLDC motors. Wireless communication modules (WIFI) are responsible for transmitting on-site images and data to rescuers. Audio modules can be used by survivors found in the ruins to directly talk to the rescuers. Output driver module is used to drive wheels or caterpillar tracks when moving forward, climbing ramps and stairs, and overcoming obstacles. It also drives camera and searchlight to rotate when searching for survivors.
With the emergence of more advanced microelectronics, sensor and wireless communication technologies, as well as better algorithms; rescue robots would play a greater role in the rescue operations for the future.