Drobbable Robots Help First Responders

Drobbable Robots Help First Responders
Round, squishy robots able to survive a 600-foot drop could be deployed in disaster areas to gather information on conditions on the ground.

Developed by UC Berkeley and Squishy Robotics, the “tensegrity” robots were first created for exploration on Saturn’s moon, Titan, where they would be dropped from space to the surface of the celestial body. However, the team realized the squishy bots could have uses closer to home by equipping them with sensors able to detect disaster zone conditions—such as dangerous gases—so they can relay the information to first responders.

According to UC Berkeley professor Alice Agogino, "Our rapidly deployable mobile sensor robots … can also work as co-robots with their human partners on the ground when they arrive on the scene."

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