Better Rescue Robots for Mining Disasters

Posted 8 Jan 2006 at 17:00 UTC by steve Share This

A NewScientist article quotes rescue robot expert Robin Murphy on the need for better search and rescue robots. She says the robot used in the recent Sago Mine disaster in Talmansville, West Virginia was not designed for that type of work. It was actually a 520kg commercial bomb disposal robot and became bogged down in mud after moving just 21 meters into the mine. Murphy's team is working on new types of robots that can "squirm through rubble, or crawl through boreholes, or clamber over obstacles on legs, [and] could someday go into mines quickly ahead of rescuers". The biggest problem faced by researchers is resistance of government and industry to investing in rescue robot research.

Resistence?, posted 10 Jan 2006 at 18:47 UTC by while_true » (Observer)

Thats ridiculous. They've obviously never heard of this guy

CMU Mine Mapper, posted 12 Jan 2006 at 14:01 UTC by steve » (Master)

We did a couple of stories o CMU's mine mapper robot back 2002. "Ridiculous" is the word mining industry officials used to describe the idea of a mine mapping robot when it was first proposed by CMU. But by Novemember CMU had demonstrated a working robot, Groundhog, that could do the job. After watching the demo, mining officials were merely "skeptical" of the idea. I don't think they ever offered a dime in help pay for further research despite the fact that inaccurate maps were directly responsible for the Quecreek mine accident.

William "Red" Whittaker of CMU Interview, posted 13 Jan 2006 at 17:02 UTC by steve » (Master)

Technology Review has posted an interview of CMU's Whittaker about mine robots:,303,p1.html

She's on Glue......, posted 14 Jan 2006 at 19:07 UTC by ROV-D » (Apprentice)

CRASAR has 3-6 of our versitile drop cameras and crawling robots. Why Dr. Murphy says they are developing new robots for rubble rescue, I'm not sure!!

I know you can always improve on what you have, but NO WAY should have the V2 Robot been sent into that mine!!!

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