The first-ever symposium on the uses of autonomous robotics systems and vehicles for emergency first responders is being hosted by the University of Nevada, Reno April 6-8.
"The potential for uses of unmanned autonomous systems in emergency situations is enormous," Warren Rapp, business director of the University's Nevada Advanced Autonomous Systems Innovation Center, said. "This symposium will explore opportunities, present case studies and include panel discussions to foster dialogue on how first responders use, or would like to use, autonomous systems."
The conference will feature leaders in the fields of search and rescue, emergency management, robotics and autonomous vehicles as well as from government and non-profit institutions.
Featuring two days of seminars, the symposium also includes a social event where participants will be treated to the Aces AAA baseball team's season opener on Thursday, April 7.
Law enforcement agencies, search and rescue professionals, emergency management personnel, UAS manufacturers and researchers are all invited to attend to the event, which includes a small trade exhibit, presentations of academic research, real-world case studies and vendor talks - all designed to inform current and potential users about the latest state-of-the-art in UAS technologies and to streamline adoption of UAVs into search and rescue and emergency management.
"Because we are one of the few Universities in the country that is heavily involved in researching the benefits and capabilities of UAVs being integrated into search and rescue operations we decided it was a natural fit to host this UAV SAR Symposium," Rapp said.
Bringing together first responders, vendors and industry leaders, the symposium will foster dialogue on how first responders use or would like to use autonomous systems.
"We have a great relationship with sheriff's organizations and first responders, and they are excited for this event to take place," Rapp said. "We have a National Science Foundation grant to develop and integrate UAS platforms and systems into disaster scenarios that includes several University faculty, the Washoe County Emergency Management Office and the Washoe County Sheriff's Office."
Adapting existing UAS technologies to work in public safety offices requires understanding the specific needs and constraints of how drones and other autonomous systems could be used in emergency or public safety scenarios
Rapp said NAASIC, which supports advanced autonomous robotic systems and advanced manufacturing industries, is proud to partner with area businesses and organizations, such as the El Dorado and Silver Legacy resort casinos, Drone America and the Washoe County Sheriff's Office, for the symposium.