CURSOR is a European research initiative with Japanese collaboration developing the CURSOR Search and Rescue (SaR) kit (financed respectively by the EU and the Japan Science and Technology Agency). Coordinated by the German Federal Agency for Technical Relief (THW) as an end-user, the consortium includes another four first responder organizations among a total of 17 partners.
Deploying the SMURF (“soft miniaturised underground robotic finder”), drones, a ground-penetrating radar and geophones, as well as ICT tools, the CURSOR SaR kit will help to detect and localize victims trapped under the debris, e.g. after a strong earthquake. It does not only aim to do this more effectively than conventional technologies, but also – enabled by the use of remote sensing – in a way that is safer for first responders, since they will spend less time on the debris cone.
Through a series of approximately 15 lab and small-scale field tests culminating in large-scale field trial, the modular technologies are integrated and adapted especially to the needs of urban search and rescue teams. Beyond the development of technological solutions, CURSOR is deepening the dialogue between first responders and solutions providers, and ensuring the transfer of lessons learned and results.