The CURSOR project is a new European research initiative that will develop a CURSOR Search and Rescue Kit using soft miniaturised robotic equipment, drones, and advanced sensors reducing time for detection and rescue of victims trapped under debris while increasing the personal safety of the SaR teams. The project started on September 1st 2019 and will run until August 2022. It is led by the German Federal Relief Agency (THW) and works closely together with First Responders to meet their needs.
Iterative testing process involving end users is one of the main backbones of the project. Each testing cycle follows a specific framework so that structural changes can be made with each cycle. This creates a gradual but steady improvement on each previous cycle which means that each new cycle is one step closer to the end goal. In project CURSOR the tests have been divided into three categories: lab tests, small scale field tests (two iterations) and large field trials (two iterations). Lab tests are mostly serving the demonstration purpose, the first responders can have the first impression of the technology, the design features are discussed but the actual performance is not yet evaluated. Small scale field tests are mainly conducted by the component level but in the field conditions. These tests involve active first responder hands on experience and here also the performance of the tool is validated. Large scale trials are integrated CURSOR solutions evaluated and tested by first responders in the realistic conditions. All the tests follow the master scenario and use cases concepts.
Currently, we are in the middle of the testing cycle. Most of the lab tests have been conducted and the results have been integrated to the development. Covid-19 pandemic is creating a lot of difficulties and challenges, several tests have taken place virtually with the remote presence of first responders. Luckily, we could arrange first drone test in Austria (August 2020) and sniffer (will be later integrated with SMURF) test in France (September 2020) with the physical presence of first responders. The initial feedback of the end-users has been integrated to the technology development and in spring 2021 extensive testing will continue.
To learn more about CURSOR and ongoing activities visit the project’s website.
As part of the Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme, CURSOR and the related projects ASSISTANCE, FASTER, INTREPID, PathoCERT, RESPOND-A, RESPONDRONE, Search & Rescue, SIXTHSENSE and INGENIOUS have received funding under the same topic SU-DRS02-2018-2019-2020 to develop technologies for first responders.