Extreme Environments Robotics: Robotics for Emergency Response, Disaster Relief and Resilience

James Scanlan, David Flynn, David Michael Lane, Robert Richardson, Tom Richardson, András Sóbester

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report

Abstract

Global society depends on continuity of service of critical systems. Events such
as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, tsunami, floods and storms destroy lives and damage economies across the globe; pandemics have the potential to bring death and suffering on an unprecedented scale; while climate change may increase the severity of both natural and health disasters. Critical systems deliver vital services such as energy, transportation, telecommunications, food and water,
and healthcare. The systems within these sectors are increasingly complex and interdependent, interacting at a global scale, thereby making them susceptible to catastrophic and cascading failure under stress.
Consequently there is an urgent need to ensure that more cost effective technologies are developed to target disaster relief and resilience internationally. It is clear that Robotics and Autonomous Systems (RAS) will play an increasingly important role
in future disaster relief and resilience by decreasing costs, increasing capabilities, reducing response times and improving persistence as exemplified in the case studies within this document.
In some niche areas, the massive growth in robotics applications has already started to take place. The latest aerial robot technology is now able to provide such high quality, stable imagery that it is now routinely used by film, television and broadcast companies and consequently there has been explosive growth in the number of organisations offering drone related services in this sector.
It is clear that commercial opportunities
in this sector are huge and expanding.
In terms of research, the UK currently
has a strong network of active research universities conducting genuinely world- class basic research in areas such as sensor technology, MEMS devices, battery technology and artificial intelligence.
This whitepaper outlines the key challenges and opportunities of RAS for extreme environment. Key recommendations from the analysis of the current RAS landscape include:
1. The Government should recognise the needs of research organisations and have a “fast-track” and more permissive stance for aerial robot development activities. This would mirror the very successful “experimental” category the US introduced for manned aircraft in the 1960s.
2. The UK should consider providing a similar initiative to the FAA ASSURE programme here in the UK.
3. Consider introducing an Autonomous Systems Specialist Advisory group within the ATI.
4. Consider the funding of government agency-led Robotics trials to explore the robustness of possible regulations and to help foster the growing network of SMEs.
5. Recognise academic research as a special case and provide a more streamlined process for academic access to Defence facilities where possible.
Technology in this area, within the UK, is at a tipping point with massive commercial opportunities already being demonstrated. Careful regulation and strategic stimulus
is required to ensure that the UK has a significant impact in the use of, as well as the design, development and manufacture of Robotic and Autonomous Systems services and solutions.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherUK-RAS Network
Commissioning bodyUK Robotics and Autonomous Systems Network
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jun 2017

Publication series

NameUK-RAS White Papers
ISSN (Print)2398-4422

Fingerprint

Disasters
Robotics
Robots
Antennas
Tsunamis
Television
Robustness (control systems)
Climate change
MEMS
Artificial intelligence
Telecommunication
Costs
Earthquakes
Mirrors
Lead
Aircraft
Health
Sensors
Water
Industry

Keywords

  • Robotics
  • Autonomous systems
  • Extremes
  • enivonrments

Cite this

Scanlan, J., Flynn, D., Lane, D. M., Richardson, R., Richardson, T., & Sóbester, A. (2017). Extreme Environments Robotics: Robotics for Emergency Response, Disaster Relief and Resilience. (UK-RAS White Papers). UK-RAS Network.
Scanlan, James ; Flynn, David ; Lane, David Michael ; Richardson, Robert ; Richardson, Tom ; Sóbester, András. / Extreme Environments Robotics: Robotics for Emergency Response, Disaster Relief and Resilience. UK-RAS Network, 2017. (UK-RAS White Papers).
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Scanlan, J, Flynn, D, Lane, DM, Richardson, R, Richardson, T & Sóbester, A 2017, Extreme Environments Robotics: Robotics for Emergency Response, Disaster Relief and Resilience. UK-RAS White Papers, UK-RAS Network.

Extreme Environments Robotics: Robotics for Emergency Response, Disaster Relief and Resilience. / Scanlan, James; Flynn, David; Lane, David Michael; Richardson, Robert; Richardson, Tom; Sóbester, András.

UK-RAS Network, 2017. (UK-RAS White Papers).

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report

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Scanlan J, Flynn D, Lane DM, Richardson R, Richardson T, Sóbester A. Extreme Environments Robotics: Robotics for Emergency Response, Disaster Relief and Resilience. UK-RAS Network, 2017. (UK-RAS White Papers).