Artificial intelligence is being used to develop robots and drones that can operate more autonomously, allowing them to explore dangerous places beyond the reach of humans and animals.
The Swiss government is now testing this technology to see how it could be used in disaster situations.
Specialists from the Robotics and Perception Groupexternal link at the University of Zurich have developed a small drone that can fly through a collapsed building and find people – without a remote control. They’ve been testing it at a military test site in Wangen an der Aare near Bern.
At the same time, developers at the Institute of Robotics and Intelligent Systemsexternal link at the Swiss federal technology institute ETH Zurich are working on a four-legged robot called ANYmal. Equipped with laser sensors and cameras, it’s designed to do work that is too dangerous for humans and animals.
Although these robotics technologies have potential to help humans, more years of research are needed before they can be used in real-life situations.