A time when no rescue worker has to creep through the rubble and no soldiers have to risk their lives in areas exposed to radiation is not far away. A robot developed by four final year Electronics and Communications students of UKF College of Engineering, Parippally, is capable enough to take care of rescue works even on warfronts.
The GPS-linked robot inspired by the six-legged US military robot RHex was developed by a team comprising Vishnu D L, Noufal S, Aaromal S and Kavya Vinod guided by Assistant Professor Sree Lekshmi S.
The team claims that no such robot was made earlier with this many features and such a compact size. Similar attempts have been made before also. But all that time, the size of the robot was the major problem. The one developed by these students is compact enough to go through rubble of buildings and narrow holes. The robot can be used to assist physically challenged people also after making enough alterations.
It is capable of venturing into earthquake-hit areas, terrorist-attacked buildings and narrow drainpipes which are inaccessible to human beings. It can be sent to hazardous areas also instead of humans. The robot is equipped with gas and heat sensors and inbuilt infrared cameras which can communicate to and fro with a safe and distant base situation. The coordinates of its location will also be sent to the operators.
The robot, currently running on batteries, will stay active for up to four-five hours. Its operating time can be increased to up to eight hours by installing a solar back-up. Another attractive aspect of the robot is that no technical expertise is demanded to operate it. The robot, once sent for a task, will send back SMS and video feed containing the needed information to the operator.
The initial expense of this project was Rs 40,000 which was shared by the team members. It took almost one year for them to complete the project. They have already submitted it to the Kerala Science and Technology Museum here.
Presentations will be made at the Kerala State Council for Science, Technology and Environment and Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre also.
“Currently, our defence or rescue force or any such forces do not possess any such technologies. Once it is developed and enough advancements are made, it can be used for military and several other purposes,” said Vishnu, one among the four members.