Pentagon to Fund US-South Korea Development of Disaster Response Robots

Although the Pentagon is awarding grants for robotics development to be used by the military, the announcement on Tuesday may also be good news for federal, state and local first-responders: police, fire and emergency medical personnel. As with the production of new technology in the past, law enforcement may be able to utilize some of the robots created by the military especially since the grants are offered for robots designed to save lives during and after a man-made or natural disaster.
military robotThe Department of Defense (DoD) announced that it will award approximately $3.5 million to six U.S. university teams for research into robotics for disaster relief.

These awards are part of a joint research project with the Republic of Korea’s Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Energy (MOTIE), agreed to in June 2015. Each joint team will involve U.S. performers funded by DoD, and Korean performers funded by MOTIE.

The purpose of this research collaboration is to bring together top researchers in the U.S. and the Republic of Korea to develop robotics capabilities for humanitarian and disaster response and recovery applications.  Research areas funded include: novel platforms for search and rescue, advanced human-robot interaction for command and control, and advanced robotic perception/recognition for enhanced situational awareness.  

The U.S. grant recipients and their anticipated research projects are as follows:

 Yong Cho, Georgia Institute of Technology, Hybrid site sensing and human-multi-robot team collaboration for disaster relief at nuclear power plants

 Hae-Won Park, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Agile, Soft, and Adaptable Platform for Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief

 Mark Yim, University of Pennsylvania, Variable Topology Truss for Robotic Humanitarian Missions

 Martial Hebert, Carnegie Mellon University, Semantic Mapping for Disaster Response

 Allison Okamura, Stanford University, Human-Centered Design and Control of Vine Robots for Disaster Scenarios

 Sangbae Kim, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Development of tele-operated quadrupedal robotic platform for disaster response

The U.S. program will be jointly managed by the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, and the Asian Office of Aerospace Research and Development, according to a DoD press statement.

NACOP Chiefs of Police - James Kouri

Jim Kouri is a member of the Board of Advisors and a former vice president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police, Inc. a 501 (c) (3) not-for-profit organization incorporated in Florida in May 1967. The Association was organized for educational and charitable activities for law enforcement officers in command ranks and supervisory agents of state & federal law enforcement agencies as well as leaders in the private security sector. NACOP also provides funding to small departments, officers and the families of those officers paralyzed and disabled in the line of duty.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *