About Us

The Center for Robot-Assisted Search and Rescue (CRASAR) was established in 2001 to foster unmanned systems being effectively used by formal emergency management agencies through voluntary national and international activities that deploy, promote, train, document, analyze, and disseminate scientific knowledge, making it the oldest institution dedicated to unmanned systems technology for public safety.  CRASAR is a nonprofit corporation organized for exclusively charitable, scientific, and education purposes.

CRASAR was originally established by LTC (ret) John Blitch on September 2, 2001, under the auspices of NIUSR (National Institute for Urban Search and Rescue). CRASAR participated in the WTC response- the first reported use of robots for life saving response and mitigation- deploying robots on Towers 1 and 2, Building 4, and other areas from the early morning of 9/12/2001 through 10/2/2001. In 2002, CRASAR became a center within the University of South Florida with Dr. Robin Murphy as director. The center moved to Texas A&M in 2008, with Murphy remaining director. CRASAR formalized the Roboticists Without Borders volunteer program that provides unmanned system experts trained in emergency and equipment to agencies. It 2018 CRASAR was spun off from Texas A&M as a nonprofit. CRASAR is now governed by a board of directors and membership, with Justin Adams as President and Treasurer, Robin Murphy as vice-president, and David Merrick as executive secretary.

  • 2001 World Traded Center 9/11: UGVs
  • 2004 Hurricane Charley: UGV
  • 2005 La Conchita Mudslides: UGV
  • 2005 Hurricane Dennis: UGV
  • 2005 Hurricane Katrina: fixed-wing UAV, rotor-craft UAV
  • 2005 Hurricane Katrina, recovery operations: rotor-craft UAV
  • 2005 Hurricane Wilma, surface UMV
  • 2007 Midas Gold Mine Collapse, Nevada: UGV
  • 2007 Crandall Canyon Coal Mine Collapse, Utah: UGV
  • 2007 Berkman Plaza II Collapse, Jacksonville FL, response: UGV
  • 2008 Berkman Plaza II Collapse, structural forensics: rotor-craft UAV, UGV
  • 2008 Hurricane Ike: surface UMV
  • 2009 State Archives Collapse, Cologne Germany: UGV
  • 2009 L’Aquila Earthquake, Italy, reconstruction operations: rotor-craft UAV
  • 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident: rotor-craft UAV
  • 2011 Great East Japan Tsunami, restoration operations: ROV UMV
  • 2011 Great East Japan Tsunami, reconstruction operations: ROV, AUV UMV
  • 2014 SR530 Mudslides, response: rotorcraft UAV
  • 2014 SR530 Mudslides, restoration: rotorcraft UAV
  • 2014 SR530 Mudslides, recovery: rotorcraft UAV
  • 2015 Texas Memorial Day floods missing person search: rotorcraft UAV
  • 2016 Syrian boat refugee crisis Greece: surface UMV
  • 2016 Louisiana floods: rotorcraft UAV
  • 2016 Texas 2016 Memorial Day floods: rotorcraft UAV
  • 2017 Hurricane Harvey: rotorcraft and fixed wing UAV, manned/unmanned airspace coordination
  • 2017 Hurricane Irma: rotorcraft UAV
  • 2017 Hurricane Maria: rotorcraft UAV
  • 2018 Kilauea Volcano Lower East Rift Zone event: rotorcraft UAV

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