back to article Robot Rin Tin Tin can rescue you from that collapsed mine shaft

An autonomous dog-like robot designed to scamper down tunnels on search-and-rescue missions was put to the test in the most recent bout of US military boffins' DARPA Subterranean Challenge. Although it wasn't a winner on the day – stumbling into a buried trip hazard after a quarter of a kilometre didn't help – the Team PLUTO …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Legged systems can provide ...

    I wonder how these robots compare in performance against a well trained dog with head mounted lasers, oops, I mean cameras, and a radio.

    Hmm, can you reliably steer (well trained) dogs *remotely* by voice command?

    Edit: I suppose robots would be more resilient in dangerous (e.g. on fire, no oxygen, high radiation, etc) environments, but imo a vs-dog comparison would be an interesting benchmark...

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Legged systems can provide ...

      "Hmm, can you reliably steer (well trained) dogs *remotely* by voice command?"

      A whistle will do. Ask a shepherd.

  2. James 51

    Surprised Boston Dynamics didn't give it a go.

    1. Adrian 4

      The leg-bouncing behaviour when it found the victim was very boston-dynamics-like. Maybe they had from there.

  3. Blockchain commentard
    Paris Hilton

    PARIS - Penetrative Autonomous Robot Intelligent Systems. Now that's something that's experienced in going down !!!!!

  4. Tom 7

    But how will Skippy tell them you're trapped?

    Kangaroo voice recognition is not on Google's list!

  5. Comedy of Errors

    Ignored the victim

    The mine floor was extremely flat and it still manage to trip over something minor. I doubt it would manage very well in a tunnel with rubble in it from the supposed cave-in making it highly unlikely it could actually reach anybody trapped inside.

    And having reached the victim it ignored him and carried on down the tunnel.

    1. Captain Scarlet Silver badge

      Re: Ignored the victim

      Tbh I managed to trip over on my way to Tesco last year on the pavement, cut myself and because there was no pot holes and was completly flat I must have looked a right prat on someone's Ring doorbell.

      I think making it spider like by giving it more legs should help.

  6. Martin Gregorie

    Wot no hard hats?

    I was surprised to see the robodog's minders down an old mine, working without helmets. Makes you wonder how many points they lost for that.

  7. AceRimmer1980
    Thumb Up


    How about:

    Largely Autonomous Scout and Search Intervention Equipment.

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: PLUTO?

      I prefer Canine Enhanced Robotic Emergency Rescue Underground System.

      My version would have 2 heads (extra sensor platforms) and rending teeth 2 necks allows it to carry 2 barrels of brandy, in case the people it rescues get thirsty.

      1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

        Re: PLUTO?

        Aargh! I missed out the B of CERBERUS. How could I let myself down like this!

        Canine Enhanced Rescue Bot Emergency Response Underground System

        If only I'd asked for help, this would never have happened. After all, two heads are better than one...

        Now where did I put that barrel of brandy?

  8. Anonymous South African Coward

    Mechanical Hound of Fahrenheit 451, anybody?

    1. Qumefox

      I was thinking more along the lines of AMEE from Red Planet.

    2. Adrian 4
  9. Anonymous Coward

    What's that PLUTO? Timmy's fallen down a mine shaft?

    Of of course, any robotic dog named PLUTO is going to end up being a Mickey Mouse solution...

    (Oh come on, you knew someone was going to say that.)

  10. Francis Boyle Silver badge


    its mission wouldn't have been terminated so abruptly if it had thought to grab some health packs along the way.

  11. Paul Johnson 1

    Rin Tin Tin Can

    No need for any extra words, this is just a story about a Rin Tin Tin Can

  12. SonofRojBlake

    Metal Head.


  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The easiest autonomous search that I can think of would be searching a lake for people. I think it should be possible to drop a bunch of jet-ski sized drones that could search using passive sonar (listen for heartbeats, etc) active sonar, thermal imaging (up on a pole looking down), etc. Even if all it could do was locate possible victims and provide floatation and communications it would be a huge help. It just seems to me like this low-hanging fruit has been overlooked.

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