Donate to CRASAR to support deployments of Roboticists Without Borders

CRASAR is out of money and needs your help to keep Roboticists Without Borders going!

As director, I normally use the research overhead from plus donations to pay for training of RWB members, travel for the RWB team selected to deploy, equipment repairs, software upgrades, uniforms, etc.. I’m out of any PI funds and donations. In the SR530 mudslides (our 16th disaster deployment!), Insitu and PrecisionHawk paid their own travel as well as donated their time and equipment so the industry members are showing their dedication. The link to online donations is at https://securelb.imodules.com/s/1436/gid3give/index.aspx?sid=1436&gid=3&pgid=371&cid=1048&dids=441

SCN_0005The donations are used to cover real expenses, including:

  • travel, deployment costs, and data collection costs of the team to the disaster (many of our industry team members pay their own way beyond donating their gear and time)
  • upgrades of robots, sensors, software, and servers not covered by research grants
  • personal protection equipment and uniforms for the  team members
  • training for the team to prepare for a deployment, such as paying facility usage fees if we can’t get a quid pro quo or piggyback with another exercise
  • repairs, replacement costs to damaged gear

 
We don’t require the agency to pay for RWB because robots are still viewed as experimental and a risk- not having to create a vendor item for us means that they don’t have to waste time or justify the decision to the same degree as if there was significant cost. That said, we go only for short period of time- if there is value, then the agency should see it and  make arrangements to pay for continuing use. Our job is to promote the technology and learn through experience, not subsidize emergency response– hopefully agencies won’t need us in 5 years!

Basic research grants do not always cover deployments, even though we are able to collect valuable scientific data. NSF RAPID funding is often well after the initial phase of the disaster. So we rely on donations and PI return if not covered as a research grant or by the requesting agency.

 
Thank you for your generosity!