B-FAST in the ICARUS-project
After the devastating earthquakes that struck L’Aquila, Haiti and Japan, the European Commission found out that great differences exist between robotics designed in technological labs and the practical use of these devices in places too difficult or dangerous to access during Search and Rescue operations.
The European Commission’s Directorate General for Enterprises and Industries therefore launched a research program worth about 17.5 million euros. The project aims at designing usable robotics for crisis interventions. The program is led by the Royal Military School of Belgium and includes 24 public and private partners.
The project is focusing on the development of technological equipment working remotely and is likely to be used in both maritime as well as terrestrial search and rescue operations.
In 2012, B-FAST was named end-user of this European project. More specifically, the following devices will be used; ultra light infrared sensors to find traces of living persons, remote controlled vehicles and a tool to establish a cognitive and wireless communication network.
In the future this partnership should allow B-FAST to increase its efficiency and to allow more victims to be found during a disaster.
At the end of 2015 B-FAST will organize a large-scale exercise in order to test the practical use of these new technologies.
More information on the project can be found on this website: http://www.fp7-icarus.eu/ or by contacting the B-FAST Secretariat at firstname.lastname@example.org