We’ve just gotten word from Dr. Tetsuya Kimura that the Japanese delegation led by the International Rescue Systems Institute did arrive back in Japan. Dr. Tadokoro is en route though the roads are closed to Sendai (his home) with the Active Scope Camera, which is possibly the most capable robot for tight spaces (we used it at the Berkman Plaza Collapse). Dr. Koyanagi is deploying his QUINCE robot around his home area of Tokyo and the rest of the delegation is getting organized to join the Sendai team to assist with the rescue.
UPDATE: the Sendai members’ families are reportedly OK!
We remain on standby for an official invitation. We are recommending small UAVs (the AirRobot and Draganflyer multiple rotor helis plus the traditional ones) for aerial inspection of upper levels of buildings and lower altitude checks (CRASAR has AirRobots while Mark Bateson is looking to bring the Draganflyers and Chandler Griffin of ISENSYS is always ready with his helis), Dr. Howie Choset’s snake robot, small ROVs for bridge inspection and underwater recovery (being coordinated by Dr. Eric Steimle at AEOS), and our workhorses for inspecting the interior of rubble- Inuktun Extremes and Micro-VGTV. These complement the slightly larger UGVs and Active Scope Camera that the IRS researchers have.
Our hearts and prayers go out to our colleagues and the Japanese people.