29 June - 5 July 2009

Disaster setting in the Graz Stadthalle:
Flight and rescue robots demonstrate the advantages of search and rescue robotics at the RoboCup 2009

Robots as lifesavers – the main focus in the supporting programme of the RoboCup 2009

Modern robotics can help where it is too dangerous for humans to venture. Search and rescue robots (S&R robots) have meanwhile become so sophisticated that they have already carried out their first missions in disasters. And for this reason rescue robots will be given a special place at the RoboCup 2009 – the robotics world championships in Graz. The rescue robotics programme will provide exciting rescue demonstrations in which two complex disaster scenarios will form the setting for the robots’ performances. An accident involving a heavy goods vehicle loaded with hazardous materials and a fire in a multi-storey building are the two challenges that flight and rescue robots will face on their remote controlled missions. Smoke and flames make the sets as realistic as possible, ensuring a high level of thrills.

Blazing flames on the eighth floor of a skyscraper means that the reconnaissance and search for injured would already be life threatening for fire services. A remote controlled flight robot can help by reconnoitring the situation and sending information by video signals to the rescue services on the ground. As the robotics world championships, the RoboCup recognised the possible uses of rescue robots a long time ago and promoted their development in the separate category “RoboCup Rescue” . RoboCup 2009, organised by TU Graz, dedicates one particular focus to the lifesaving robots with a rescue robot demonstration, a practical course for first responders and a workshop for the exchange of experiences between rescue services and robotics researchers.

Hazardous materials and a burning house

When fire and smoke can be seen behind the Graz Stadthalle on Thursday 2nd July 2009, remember, there’s no cause for panic – on the contrary, rescue robots are in action. To demonstrate the capabilities of flight and rescue robots, two disaster scenarios will be re-enacted as realistically as possible. A crashed heavy goods vehicle loaded with hazardous materials provides a challenge to the rescue robot. Operated by rescuers by remote control, the metal helper has to retrieve the sensitive substances and bring them out of the danger zone. Fire in a multi-storey building is the occasion for a flight robot to climb up a stylised building wall, peek through the “window” of a smoke-filled “flat”, and send back information in the form of video signals.

Emergency services meet their future helpers

There is an introduction to possible applications of today’s rescue robotics together with a practical course specially for first responders. In the training courses on 3rd and 4th July from 8 to 10am, search and rescue services from the whole world over can practise operating flight robots, go on a reconnaissance mission in a specially designed rescue area with rescue robots or practise various manipulation tasks and recover hazardous materials or retrieve injured persons using remote controlled robots.

A workshop on the topic of rescue robotics will take place following the RoboCup on Monday 6th July 2009 at TU Graz. The focus will be on an exchange of experiences between first responders and robotics researchers.

Public Demonstration of Rescue Robotics
Thursday, 2nd July 2009, 2.00 pm
Where: RoboCup 2009, open-air ground behind the Graz Stadthalle

Practical Course for First Responders
Friday, 3rd July, and Saturday, 4th July 2009, both from 8.00 to 10.00 am
Where: RoboCup 2009, Graz Trade Fair, Hall A

Workshop on Rescue Robotics
Monday, 6th July 2009, 8.00 am to 4.00 pm
Where: Inffeldgasse 16b/basement

Mag. Alice Senarclens de Grancy
Press Officer
Email alice.grancy@tugraz.at
Tel 0316 873 6006
Mobil 0664 60 873 6006

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