Milrem Robotics’ Multiscope Rescue unmanned ground vehicle (UGV) has been deployed by the Estonian Disaster Relief Team (EDRT) during an urban search and rescue (USAR) exercise held at the main training facility of the Estonian Rescue Board. The vehicle was used to transport the rescue equipment required by two USAR units to the operational area, allowing members of the units to conserve energy and reach survivors quicker.
The Multiscope UGV is capable of transporting a maximum payload of 1200 kg, and can also be used for clearing cave-in debris, which often consists of heavy concrete blocks. Normally, this task is performed by hand.
The Multiscope can be remotely operated from a safe distance, using a camera feed to observe the area around the vehicle. It can also be programmed to autonomously follow waypoints or follow the operator.
During future exercises, the EDRT wants to test the UGV during rope-based rescues, using the vehicle as an anchor point.
Ivar Frantsuzov, a member of the Estonian Rescue Board, commented: “In real-life urban search and rescue operations such as earthquakes, we use buses or vans to get our equipment to where it is needed. However, it is quite difficult to reach the exact point where you will use the gear with a bus due to narrow passages. A UGV of this size could get closer to where we need the equipment, hence we do not have to spare two people to carry things and they can use that time and energy for the actual rescue.”
“Also, the medics found that the UGV is of optimal height to administer first aid to the wounded on a stretcher attached on top of one of the UGV’s track modules, instead of doing it in the dirt and rubble. The UGV could also be equipped with gas detectors to determine if the area is safe for the USAR units.”