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Engineers build a robot to search for survivors in disaster zones

Engineers from the University of Warwick are building a robot that will be able to search for survivors in a disaster zone.

A team of final year Engineering students is developing the robot to compete as the only UK entry against other universities from across the world in an international competition.

The European Robocup Rescue is a competition that tests robots search and rescue abilities in a simulated disaster environment. It is being held in Hanover next year and the students, who call themselves Warwick Mobile Robotics, are hoping to win best in class for mobility. They will also be exploring how the technology they develop can be used in a real-life application.

The robot project forms part of the final year of the MEng course at the University of Warwick and the students have to raise £20,000 through sponsorship to pay for all the hardware and software.

The team includes mechanical engineers Timothy Fletcher, Reuben Williams, Alex Bunn and Julian Faulkner. There are two electronic engineers, Oliver Vogel and Stefan Winkvist, and two systems engineers, Matthew Rooke and James Williams.

Sponsorship co-ordinator for the team, Engineering student Oliver Vogel, said: “This challenge presents some really exciting opportunities for a range of organisations and businesses to use and support the technology we are developing.”

Professor Ken Young, Director of the Innovative Manufacturing Research Centre at the University of Warwick, is in charge of the robotics project at the University of Warwick. He said: “The Robocup Rescue is a great opportunity for our students to find out what it takes to get an idea developed into a working prototype. We have a very talented team of engineers this year and I am sure they will do well." 

To find out more about sponsorship opportunities, contact mobilerobotics@eng.warwick.ac.uk or call 02476 574306.

Notes to editors
Pictures of the team working on the robot are available. For more information or to interview one of the students, call Kelly Parkes-Harrison, k.e.parkes@warwick.ac.uk, 02476 150483, 07824 540863