Earlier this month, InHardFocus reported on a revolutionary research program that uses Kinect software to enable robots to search for survivors in earthquake rubble. Now, in the wake of last week's earthquake and tsunami in Japan, many are wondering whether the tech-savvy nation will use droids to help with search and recovery efforts.
Unfortunately, as MSNBC reports, most robots will not be effective in this particular situation. Why? The majority of these ground-based robots are designed to search for survivors in towering piles of rubble -- not short, shallow rubble piles.
Because the earthquake in Japan was followed so closely by a devastating tsunami, much of the rubble has been scattered or completely washed away. In this case, experts say, human and canine searchers are much more effective.
However, MSNBC found that the Center for Robot-Assisted Search and Rescue has offered its assistance for Japan's recovery efforts. They suspect that as time goes on, underwater robots will be in high demand in Japan, to help inspect the integrity of vital infrastructure, including bridges and ports.