Extremely challenging conditions at the Uttarkashi Tunnel Rescue Operation led the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) to seek out help from two mini robots, Daksh Mini and Daksh Scout. These two mini robots were remotely operated and provided help in rescuing the trapped 41 workers in the under-construction Silkyara-Barkot tunnel in Uttarkashi.
Daksh Mini is a remote mini robot vehicle that is specially designed to fit and work in confined spaces — making it perfect for the rescue job. This mini robot can operate for two hours on a single charge and can cover a range of up to 200 meters. With its manipulator arm, Daksh Mini can lift loads up to 20 kg and can even handle Improvised Explosive Devices.
The other mini robot, Daksh Scout, is a surveillance rover. It is specially designed to be able to roam in any kind of terrain and has the capability of climbing stairs and descending inclined surfaces. If needed, it can also defuse bombs. Unlike Daksh Mini, Daksh Scout can work round the clock, which was pivotal in fast-tracking the rescue operation.
Both mini robots are equipped with high-resolution cameras which helps the navigator control them better. The images obtained by the robots’ cameras also helped with getting a view of the tunnel inside and locating the workers. Along with Daksh Scout’s 360-degree camera, the robots ultimately helped provide a real-time view of the surroundings inside the tunnel.
The two mini robots, or as the media would call them ‘Daksh Brothers’, are among the 1,000 personnel who were involved in the entire rescue operation. Said rescue operation lasted for 17 days, and it was only on the 22nd of November (roughly 11 days) when the mini robots were deployed. The collective effort of human personnel, machinery, and the two mini robots made the rescue operation a successful one as the 41 workers were finally free on the 28th of November.
With great news such as this one, we can see how robots can play a pivotal role in rescue missions. Such a feat also occurred when robots helped in a mining rescue mission in Tennessee two years ago. Hopefully, more companies follow suit in creating service robots that are specially designed for emergencies and rescue missions.