Thanks to their mechanical strength and ability to operate in conditions too dangerous for humans, robots are poised to become the rescuers of the future. Here are three promising designs that could soon work alongside first responders to save lives after a disaster.
1. CHIMP: Carnegie Mellon scientists are designing a robot monkey tank, above, to climb ladders, roll over rubble, and most importantly, open doors. Designed to work in human-sized spaces, CHIMP will be partially autonomous, which means it should be able to navigate through a disaster area with little human input. CHIMP is just one of several designs competing in a DARPA challenge to build robotic first responders.