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U.S. roboticists complete mission to Japan's tsunami-hit coast

Martyn Williams | April 25, 2011
A team of American robot scientists from the Center for Robot-Assisted Search and Rescue wrapped up five days of underwater search and rescue operations in northern Japan on Saturday.

In Minamisanriku, a Seamor ROV with sonar was tasked with just that job. To the team's surprise, they didn't find a lot of debris on the seabed and almost everything located was not a danger to ships.

"All the fishing nets, all the ropes were at least 5 meters deep, except for one structure that was clearly visible above the water line," said Murphy.

The mission is the latest in a series of deployments for CRASAR. The center was responsible for the first use of ground robots at the World Trade Center site in New York shortly after the September 2001 terrorist attacks. The group also deployed small air vehicles after Hurricane Katrina and underwater ROVs after Hurricane Wilma.

The team that's been in Japan was funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation.

 

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