Mission

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. In 2017, CRASAR became is a nonprofit corporation.

The activities in which we engage in include, but are not limited to,
  • deploying, upon request of incident command staff, regional volunteer teams who are vetted and trained on the unique attributes of unmanned systems for disasters, even if the requesting agency cannot guarantee reimbursement and having the unmanned systems in use within 12 hours of the event. CRASAR has participated in 27 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.  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.
  • providing “just in time” training and consultation for emergency professionals to enable them to effectively use the resources they have available;  Please see our one-page guides below.
  • conducting field studies and translative research and development in unmanned systems for the prevention, preparedness, response, and recovery from critical incidents;  CRASAR members have been world leaders in documenting the use of unmanned systems for disasters and identifying gaps and research opportunities. See Disaster Robotics (MIT Press, 2014 in hardcopy or kindle) or the chapter on Rescue Robotics in the Springer Handbook of Robotics.  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.
  • collecting, archiving, curating, analyzing, and sharing data about the use of unmanned systems and related technologies. CRASAR members at Texas A&M and Florida State University currently have a NSF RAPID grant to make the small UAS datasets from flights at Hurricanes Harvey and Irma available to researchers. 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.
  • training emergency management, and related, professionals in advance, either online or in person, on unmanned systems and the latest best practices. Since 2001, CRASAR has trained over 1000 responders from 7 countries and 20 states in unmanned systems, starting with a Florida workforce grant focusing on ground robots leading to a set of awareness and operator classes. CRASAR has since created small unmanned aerial systems classes focusing on best practices.