This is me, reading to the search and rescue robots at the TEES (Texas A&M University Engineering Experiment Station) Center for Robot-Assisted Search and Rescue (CRASAR).
Here’s an article about Dr. Robin Murphy, who runs the center:
Robin Murphy is a pioneer, an international leader and one of the few women in a field that men tend to dominate.
It is an all too familiar sight after tragedies such as earthquakes, hurricanes or mudslides: people furiously digging through the rubble in the hopes of locating survivors.
A similar scene drove Robin Murphy into rescue robotics. Murphy is a professor in Texas A&M’s Department of Computer Science and Engineering and director of the TEES Center for Robot-Assisted Search and Rescue (CRASAR).
It was 1995, and having watched news reports on both the Oklahoma City bombing and the Kobe City earthquake, Murphy — who had conducted her Ph.D. research in robotics — decided it was time to focus her work on rescue robotics.
“Rescue robotics was strictly an emotional response,” says Murphy, the Raytheon Professor in the Dwight Look College of Engineering’s Department of Computer Science and Engineering. “Artificial intelligence for robotics had been focusing on small robots with the thought of sending dozens of them up to Mars.”
It then became so clear to her that those same robots could be exploring under the rubble of a disaster and helping find victims.
“At some point I thought, I could be one of 200 people doing planetary robots, I could be one of 200 people doing health care, but somebody needs to step up and do this idea of rescue robotics.”
And that is exactly what Murphy did. Seeing an opportunity to make a difference, she seized it and immersed herself in rescue robotics, a field where she has become an international leader and one of the few women involved.