packbotRobin Murphy of the Center for Robot Assisted Search And Rescue (CRASAR) at USF descended with her team of graduate students on Ground Zero in the days after 9/11, along with robots from private corporations, such as iRobot and Foster-Miller from Boston. Funding for these programs hails from the NSF, the Office of Naval Research, and DARPA’s Tactical Mobile Robots program (TMR) [1].

 

 

view from 'talon'

 

The TMR was the vision of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)’s former director, Colonel Blitch, who partook in rescue efforts in Oklahoma City. Blitch still had the first generation TMR robots in his basement on the morning of 9/11, to be donated to the non-profit National Institute for Urban Search and Rescue. When the planes hit, he loaded up the robots into his car and called other robotics teams en route to NYC [2].


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