New Unmanned Vehicle Changes the Rules at Disaster Scenes

New Unmanned Vehicle Changes the Rules at Disaster Scenes

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During urban search and rescue operations such as earthquakes, large vehicles or vans are often used to get first responders’ equipment to the scene. However, narrow passages and harsh terrain can hinder these operations. An unmanned ground vehicle participated in a recent urban search and rescue (USAR) exercise in Estonia, transporting rescue equipment of two USAR units to the operation area allowing members of the unit to conserve energy and reach survivors quicker.  

The Estonian Disaster Relief Team (EDRT) utilized Milrem Robotics’ Multiscope Rescue UGV built to carry a maximum payload of 1200 kg which can additionally be used for clearing the cave-in area of debris usually consisting of heavy concrete blocks – a task typically done by hand. 

The UGV is of optimal height to administer first aid to the wounded on a stretcher attached on top of one of the UGVs track modules instead of doing it in the dirt and rubble. The low noise signature of the UGV also comes in handy, according to

During future exercises, the team wants to test the UGV during rope rescue using the vehicle as an anchor point. It could also be equipped with gas detectors to determine if the area is safe for the search and rescue units, according to the company.

The UGV can be remotely operated from a safe distance using the camera feed to see where the vehicle is going, or the operator can move with the vehicle in safer areas. 

It can also be equipped with intelligent functions that enable it to move by itself from point A to point B. The UGV can also independently follow the operator.