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Dogs, robot snakes team for search-and-rescue missions

A new search-and-rescue bot might make it easier to locate survivors in disaster situations, and it all starts with a dog's bark.

Video screenshot by Bonnie Cha/CNET

In the future, robots equipped with tails may help with search-and-rescue missions, but it also could be that robots deployed by those with tails will also have a hand in finding survivors.

A new system created by researchers at Carnegie Mellon's Robotics Lab and Ryerson University's Network-Centric Applied Research Team provides another way to get audio and visual feedback from a disaster zone, particularly those areas that are too small for humans or canines to search. The twist here is that it's all initiated with a dog's bark.

The system, called CARD (Canine Assisted Robot Deployment), features a camera-equipped snake robot attached to a canine's chest. The dog is then set loose to find survivors, and as it's trained to do, it will bark when it finds a person.

This is when the snakebot takes over. Pre-programmed to initiate at the sound of the bark, the robot then leaps out of the chest pack and gets to work, maneuvering its way through crevices and small spaces to send back audio and visuals to the rescue team.

Researchers say they can adapt the system, so that it can deploy anything. For a closer look at CARD, check out the video below.

(Via IEEE Spectrum)