Major disasters happen yearly around the world, and although we are getting much better in the entirety of planning, assisting, and rebuilding, there are still things that humans are physically unable to do or see. Can big data help us here? Over a million people are killed each year in disasters. Two and a half million people will be permanently disabled or displaced. The communities affected from these disasters will take 20 to 30 years to recover in billions of economic losses. This is a serious issue globally that we need to pay attention to. If you can reduce the initial response by one day, you can reduce the overall recovery by a thousand days or 3 years. The faster the initial responders can get in, the faster restoration and reconstruction can happen, ultimately leading to the betterment of the society. This is where robotics are introduced. It’s simple: robots can make a disaster go away faster. The UAV is one disaster robotic that resembles a drone, and allows you to see damage from angles you cannot get anywhere else; which ends up being particularly good data for structural engineers and insurance agencies. This information from the UAV’s can be used for geospatial surveys to pull imagery together for 3D reconstruction. Not only this, but the imaging can be used to help first responders in monitoring the progress of a disaster and make sure that they will not get caught up in the middle of another mudslide, just as an example. Data that typically would take 2 or 3 days to retrieve from these disaster sights can now be retrieved within hours, in higher resolution and with higher accuracy. This is revolutionary. The UAV’s are just one form of disaster robot, but they cannot help us with anything say, under water. 80% of the world’s population lives by water, meaning our critical infrastructure is under water. This is where the unmanned marine vehicles come in. These marine vehicles are able to use their sonars to reopen ports in hours, when a diving team typically would take months. Without a port, a cities economy can plummet and with the help of these robots, we are able to prevent an economical disaster. Robots are typically small for a reason; being able to go places and see things that people cannot. One of the disaster robots, the unmanned ground vehicle, was able to go deep underground in the rubble and fires of the World Trade Center to search for survivors. Robots do not replace people or animals by any means, but they provide something new: assistance in new and innovative ways. The biggest problem that they are encountering with these robots is in the data. They are retrieving all of this extraordinary data from these sites, but they need people to access this data immediately and analyze it to provide the fastest and most accurate answers. The question is, who gets what data? If all of the information was shipped out to everyone at once, the networks would be overwhelmed, and worse, it would affect the cognitive abilities of each person trying to get the one piece of data they need. The challenge is getting all of the data and getting it to the right people. “Disaster robotics is a misnomer. It’s not about the robots, it’s about the data.” –Robin Murphy, Disaster Roboticist Watch the full Ted Talk on this issue here, and contact Cliintel to learn more about why properly analyzing your data is so important.

Pin It on Pinterest