McCaffrey is a QinetiQ Dragonrunner DR10 tracked robot named after Anne McCaffrey, author of the Dragonriders of Pern series. She is teleoperated with a pan, tilt, zoom camera in front and a rear camera and has headlights. While waiting to be deployed, she is used for research in disaster robotics with funding by the National Science Foundation (IIS-0905485).
Dragonrunners like to go fast and they are not afraid of the dark because they have headlight or the water because they are water resistant. Dragonrunners love heights: she can be thrown and can survive a 3-story drop. Exercises at Disaster City® suggest she will be valuable for throwing into chemical train derailments to see if the engineer is inside the cab injured or into an unstable building.
Dragonrunners were developed for the US Department of Defense so that soldiers could throw her into a building and see if there were bad guys inside. They have not been reported used at a disaster, but it is similar in size and weight to the Inuktun VGTV series of robots (which includes Bujold) that hold the record for deployments to building collapses.
Assistant Zookeepers can:
- Race McCaffrey through a course but remember that going fast isn’t always a good thing when looking for survivors—be sure to look left, right, and up!