Can These Swarming Drones Improve Disaster Response?

The tiny drones build a map of a building's environment to give first responders a look inside.

Photo Caption: One of a number of tiny drones being used by researchers at Carnegie Mellon University.

Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University are working on tiny drones that can be deployed inside of a building after a natural disaster to give first responders a look inside.

Here’s how it works. A larger drone drops off several of the tiny drones into the disaster area. Those drones, which can communicate with each other, create a map of the inside of the building and relay information about air quality, temperature, radiation, etc. The drones are

The larger drone, which can fly for about 30 minutes, will have a built-in camera to provide a live video link.

Pie Zhang, an associate professor at CMU leading this research, says it will be about 10 years until this technology will be in the hands of rescue workers.

“We can put a lot of these inside a building,” Zhang says. “They can fly into walls, and because they are light they’ll hit the wall and nothing will happen, but [the drone] will know where the wall is and communicate that.”

[Source:] PC World

About the Author

Steve Crowe · Steve Crowe is managing editor of Robotics Trends. Steve has been writing about technology since 2008. He lives in Belchertown, MA with his wife and daughter.
Contact Steve Crowe:  ·  View More by Steve Crowe.


Log in to leave a Comment

Article Topics

Robot Fun · Drones · News · Media · Videos · Drones · Video of the Day · All Topics

Editors’ Picks

Autonomous Snake-like Robot to Support Search-and-Rescue
Worcester Polytechnic Institute is creating autonomous snake-like robots that can navigate through...

Love Writing About Robotics and AI? Robotics Trends is Hiring!
Robotics Trends and sister site Robotics Business Review are growing and adding...

WiBotic PowerPad Wirelessly Charges Drones
WiBotic’s PowerPad wirelessly charges everything from large industrial drones to smaller...

Meet Jing Xiao: WPI’s New Director of Robotics
In January 2018, Jing Xiao will become the new director of the Robotics...