How I Survived A Building Collapse

Survivor Buddy

OK, I admit this post has nothing to do with Sharpologist’s usual subject matter.

But it’s pretty cool.

Last year I participated in a research study about using a robot (“Survivor Buddy”) to interact with people trapped in disaster situations.  I was buried in the rubble of a collapsed building (simulated of course) and a series of experiments were conducted on how I reacted to being “found” by the robot.  I was given special goggles that could track my eye movements so the researchers could see what I was looking at during the test period.  It was all very fascinating and surprisingly realistic–I really felt “buried” (in fact my wife participated too and she actually became a little panicky at one point).

The video of my participation just became available so I thought I would share it. It begins just before the building “collapes” (the moving “target” you see in the video is the eye tracker):

(Thanks to the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at Texas A&M University.)


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