CRASAR is a Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station center whose mission is to improve disaster preparedness, prevention, response, and recovery through the development and adoption of robots and related technologies. Its goal is to create a “community of practice” throughout the world for rescue robots that motivates fundamental research, supports technology transfer, and educates students, response professionals, and the public. CRASAR is a dynamic mix of university researchers, industry, and responders.
CRASAR has participated in 25 of the over 50 documented deployments of disaster robots throughout the world and have formally analyzed dozens of others, providing a comprehensive archive of rescue robots in practice. See Disaster Robotics (MIT Press, 2014 in hardcopy or kindle) or the chapter on Rescue Robotics in the Springer Handbook of Robotics. Our industry partners and funding agencies make a wide range of small land, sea, and air robots available for use by responders at no charge through the Roboticists Without Borders program. Our human-robot crew organization and protocols developed first for UGVs, where studies show a 9 times increase in team performance, and then extended for small UAVs during our flights at Hurricane Katrina has been adopted by Italian and German UAV response teams and was used by the Westinghouse team for the use of the Honeywell T-Hawk at the Fukushima nuclear accident.
CRASAR helps organize and sponsor conferences such as the annual IEEE Safety Security Rescue Robotics conference and workshops such as the recent White House OSTP Workshop on Robots for Ebola.
Resources Including Guides and Best Practices for Small UAVs at Disasters
A good overview of rescue robotics is in Disaster Robotics by Robin Murphy (MIT Press, Amazon, and Kindle)- Disaster Robotics is for both practitioners and researchers. It covers 34 deployments worldwide from 2001 through 2013, describes the missions, and next discusses the specific applications and lessons learned for ground (Chapter 3), aerial (Chapter 4), and marine (Chapter 5) vehicles, and then ends with recommendations on how to conduct deployments and field work (Chapter 6). Disaster Robotics won the 2014 PROSE honorable mention for best engineering and science writing.
Here are helpful 1 page guides and best practices for small unmanned aerial systems that have been incorporated into United Nations humanitarian standards and are continuing to evolve:
- Recommendations for Choosing Small UAS Platforms for Disasters
- Quick guide for planning on SUAS focusing on regulations on who can fly and where
- Guide to Air Space Regulations for Unmanned Aerial Systems for Disasters in USA
- Best Practices for Major Missions for Small UAS
- Best Practices for Data Collection with Small UAS
- Best Practices for Crew Organization and Concepts of Operations with Small UAS
And a small disclaimer- this website is still under construction and out of compliance with Texas A&M University formats. Even the logo is off. We’re working on replacing it!