Rescue robots get a new test

The US organisations behind a new performance benchmark for search and rescue robots say they expect their work to accelerate deployment of machines in emergency situations.

The standard is being developed for ASTM International (formerly the American Society for Testing and Materials) by the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

By consulting with users and manufacturers, NIST hopes to come up with a system for evaluating different robots' visual capability that emergency personnel can use to select the best option for their specific need.

Among the parameters measured are field of view, visual acuity at short and long distances in different light conditions, and zoom lens capability. NIST says it expects the results to be useful for anyone writing procurement specifications and for acceptance testing of robots for urban search and rescue applications.

Further information:
www.isd.mel.nist.gov/US&R_Robot_Standards/
www.astm.org/Standards/E2566.htm

Image: Robots can reach places inaccessible to human rescue workers

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