During natural disasters like earthquakes and hurricanes, it’s common for people to get trapped in the rubble of collapsed buildings. Though rescue teams do their best to locate survivors, it’s incredibly challenging to search through heavy, dangerous debris. A new project funded by the non-profit APOPO is training rats to explore through rubble to find survivors. The rodents are outfitted with a small, tech-driven backpack that has a camera, microphone, and location transmitter. Rats are tiny, curious explorers that aren’t slowed down by the addition of a backpack, making them the perfect scouts for survivors in dense rubble that humans can’t get through. The rats are currently training in simulation disaster zones while researchers continue to improve on the technological features of the backpacks.
Image via APOPO
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