Dr. Robin Murphy Speaks about Disaster Robotics and Informatics for #BigThinkers

Sep 10, 2013

Big Thinker Robin Murphy at YahooToday we had the pleasure of hosting Dr. Robin R. Murphy, Raytheon professor of Computer Science and Engineering at Texas A&M for our #BigThinkers speaker series. Dr. Murphy, who is also Director of the Center for Robot Assisted Search and Rescue and the Center for Emergency Informatics/Emergency Informatics EDGE, discussed the latest technologies surrounding robotics in disaster situations. The engaging presentation, entitled Robots (and Informatics) to the Rescue!, concentrated on disaster robotics and their possibilities. Dr. Murphy also highlighted the current strengths and weaknesses surrounding the technological capabilities of robots in disaster situations.     The event was broadcast live on our labs.yahoo.com homepage and viewers had the opportunity to ask questions and comment on our Twitter stream @YahooLabs as well as our Facebook page. If you missed Dr. Murphy's talk, you can catch the whole thing here: ABSTRACT            Unmanned systems of all types- land, sea, and air- have been used in 34 major disasters, starting with the 9/11 World Trade Center collapse. So why aren't they being used more frequently? What is slowing adoption is that robots are built to fit the military's information ecology, not Public Safety. This talk will provide an introduction to Texas A&M, which is the state agency for urban search and rescue and has been training fire rescue professionals since 1929. It will concentrate on disaster robotics and their possibilities, but then shift to describing the tactical information ecology at a disaster. The talk will present an operational architecture for the data-to-decision process and use it to illustrate bottlenecks and opportunities for improvement. The talk will speculate on how the ecology may change-  and creating new informatics possibilities- with the bottom-up the Bring Your Own Device movement and the top-down DHS FIRSTnet LTE network dedicated to emergency professionals. Extensive video will be shown.   BIOGRAPHICAL NOTE Dr. Robin R. Murphy is the Raytheon Professor of Computer Science and Engineering at Texas A&M, Director of the Center for Robot-Assisted Search and Rescue, and the Center for Emergency Informatics. She received a B.M.E. in mechanical engineering, a M.S. and Ph.D in computer science in 1980, 1989, and 1992, respectively, from Georgia Tech. She has over 150 publications on artificial intelligence, human-robot interaction, and robotics including the textbook, Introduction to AI Robotics, and the forthcoming Disaster Robotics. Her insertion of  robots at 15 disasters including the 9/11 World Trade Center disaster, Hurricane Katrina, and Fukushima has led to numerous professional awards, as well as being declared an “Innovator in AI” by TIME, an “Alpha Geek” by WIRED Magazine and one of the “Most Influential Women in Technology” by Fast Company. Dr. Murphy serves on several government and professional boards, and she recently co-chaired the NSF/CCC Workshop on Computing for Disaster Management.   YAHOO LABS BIG THINKERS SPEAKER SERIES Yahoo Labs is proud to bring you its 2013 Big Thinkers Speaker Series. Each year, some of the most influential, accomplished experts from the research community visit our campus to share their insights on topics that are significant to Yahoo. These distinctive speakers are shaping the future of the new sciences underlying the Web and are guaranteed to inform, enlighten, and inspire.