Sustainable development goals
  • Good health and well-being
  • Sustainable cities and communities
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About the project

The Seneka project developed a sensor network with mobile robots for the purpose of disaster management. The main objective is to create a system able to save human lives in an emergency, such as natural disasters. Therefore, utilizing sensors, communication technology elements and robots to reduce rescue time is the objective. Among the project partners is the Fraunhofer Institute.

More project information

The research project Seneka was established by five Fraunhofer Institutes and twelve developers from the Fraunhofer Institute of Optronics System Technologies and Image, aiming to better manage emergency situations. In case of a natural disaster as an earthquake or severe storms, connected robots and sensors provide a rapid evaluation of the situation helping to search for victims and laying out access routes for emergency services. As rescue needs to be done in the first seventy hours by rescue workers, this project increases the chances of saving lives. Therefore, the technology supports cities in managing potential catastrophes including terrorist attacks.

By creating an up-to-date map of the area through 3D aerial images of the destroyed area this enables the rescue team to rapidly identify sources of damage and to evaluate the degree of destruction. Moreover, sensor probes are dropped from aerial robots to find hard-to-reach spots in the rubble also collecting visual and audio information simultaneously. The probes are also equipped with an SOS button to help victims to send their exact location to rescue workers. 

At the end of 2014 the research team met on a training site at the German Federal Office of Civil Protection in Ahrweiler (AKNZ) to demonstrate the functionality and deployment in real-life emergency situations. The company expected that in ten years robot-assisted exploration is applied for every rescue operation. The project was also flared at the Hannover Messe” in 2017.

This project contributes to reaching one of the targets of the UN SDG Sustainable Cities and Communities by reducing the number of deaths caused by natural disasters by providing cities with robots and sensors to improve the management of catastrophes. It also promotes the goal Good Health and Well-Being.