Date of Award

January 2015

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Engineering Technology

First Advisor

Richard M Voyles

Committee Member 1

Richard M Voyles

Committee Member 2

Haiyan Zhang

Committee Member 3

Shreyas Sundaram


According to the Red Cross, an average of over 600 disasters and 100,000 associated deaths occur annually throughout the world. This frequency of disasters strains an already overburdened disaster response effort. In the first 48 hours of a rescue operation, it is estimated that a responder will get less than three hours of continuous sleep as they need to work at full force to set up the operation and begin work in the field. This leads to sleep deprivation during the most critical time for search and rescue of victims. Therefore, robots are greatly needed as a force multiplier in USAR response to reduce some of the burden and workload placed on the human rescue workers to make for a more efficient and effective response.