"Airbots" Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems (AUVS) Autonomous Aerial Robotics Competition Disaster Relief Mission Millennial Event held July 2000

"International Aerial Robotics Competition...the mission...will involve the use of autonomous robots in a human search-and-rescue role during and immediately after a catastrophe of major proportions in which an urban area has been decimated...The ultimate cause could be...multiple nuclear explosions triggered by terrorists in an underground storage bunker. Information is unavailable-- all you and your design team know is that your research facility has somehow survived the night along with its complement of autonomous robots. Ensuing chemical fires rage amid the wreckage of buildings. Toxic clouds of smoke choke the skies and obscure the view. Your sensors indicate that low level radiation is present...There are other survivors out there who are injured and must be found before they die. Fire fighters in hazmat suits and respirators are attempting to find survivors and extract them to a safer location. Your autonomous robots have to be reprogrammed to search for living humans on the ground and either find and report their location to the human rescue team who will attempt to save them, or if possible your robots may attempt to extricate the survivors..."

"...The Arena: A disaster scene will be replicated with highly unstructured and unpredictable events. Your autonomous robot(s) will have to be robust enough to operate in a realistic environment that contains wreckage, fire, smoke and aerosols, acoustic shock waves, motion on the ground and in the air, as well as unbriefed obstacles...Your targets are injured humans on the ground that are simulated by animatronic synthetics capable of limited limb motion and sound. All survivors will be incapacitated and unable to move to safety under their own power. These synthetics will be programmed to expire at predetermined intervals unknown to the team. The number of injured humans and their location relative to the disaster scene is unknown...Alternate targets of interest will represent potential hazards to rescue teams entering the area. These lower priority targets will include items such as drums of hazardous material, some potentially explosive, amid others which are inert..." 

"...Videos of the Competitions are Available...Watch a one-hour Discovery Science special on the Discovery Channel about the AD 2000 Millennial Event held July 2000. It aired for the first time February 18, 2001...For the Discovery Science program airing in February 2000 entitiled, "Airbots", contact the Discovery Channel, (301) 986-1999 (main number) or William Gray, Bureau Relations at Discovery (301) 771-5956..."

Airbots (Millenial Event video, where it reads "Airbots")