Thu. Sep 28th, 2023
    Squishy Robotics: A Lifesaving Robot for First Responders

    Squishy Robotics, a California-based company, has developed a groundbreaking robot designed to assist first responders in dangerous and high-risk situations. Originally intended for missions in space, this versatile robot has found a new purpose here on Earth, helping prioritize human safety and improve rescue missions.

    The journey of Squishy Robotics from space exploration to terrestrial applications is remarkable. The company received a $500,000 grant from NASA in 2014, focusing on the robot’s mobility in zero gravity or low gravity environments. With gas thrusters, the robot can reach areas in space that are inaccessible to astronauts.

    Recently, Squishy Robotics has been making waves in on-ground operations. Weighing under three pounds, the robot can be attached to drones for aerial missions. In a demonstration, a drone deployed the robot to inspect derailed propane tanks in Florida, where it not only visually inspected but also actively monitored air quality and detected gas leaks.

    The Squishy robot has proven its resilience in various challenging scenarios. It was airdropped from an airplane at 1,000 feet and squeezed into a compact space beneath a rubble pile, simulating a rescue scenario. In one test, it even withstood an intentional explosion within a testing chamber. Throughout these trials, the robot continued to record videos and stream data, showcasing its durability and dependable functionalities.

    The key to its durability lies in its unique web-like structure, which evenly distributes impact force, protecting its central sensors. These sensors are crucial for capturing and relaying real-time information to first responders. To optimize the robot for rescue operations, Squishy Robotics engaged with 300 first responders, gathering insights on how to further enhance its capabilities.

    In summary, Squishy Robotics has transitioned from space exploration to life-saving terrestrial applications. With its advanced capabilities and potential for further optimization, this robot represents a promising future for emergency response technology.

    Sources: Squishy Robotics