When a crisis hits most of the time connectivity can be lost, even for first responders who need it the most.
But there may be a solution for that problem. During the TEEX Winter Institute at Disaster City, they're testing out a bandwidth network that can assist in future emergencies. On a search and rescue scene, they're one of the most reliable tools.
Getting video, photos, when humans can't.
Dr. Robin Murphy, TAMU Computer Science and Engineering Professor says, "we're using the robots to be the eyes and ears of the responders."
However, sometimes the network is flooded. Connection lost. Murphy says, "imagine not having bandwidth, it's like when it's really rainy and your windshield wipers aren't working very well and you can every now and then see something."
And while these robots are small. The files they send, not so much.
Murphy says, "each of these robots is basically sending back the equivalent of a streaming video. So it's eating up a lot of bandwidth."
In a special training exercise, General Dynamics C4 Systems brought in its cell on wheels, a special 4G LTE network for first responders.
Chris Marzilli, General Dynamics C4 Systems President says, "you can set up instantly on scene, bring that precious communication to bare in a moment's notice."
This device is able to restore communications for those on scene in the aftermath of a disaster.
Marzilli says, "... in a spectrum where they can have exclusive access and get those services when the commercial networks can be degraded or offline altogether."
This network helps every facet of search and rescue, even for these robots.
Murphy says, "we're learning how to better manage the wireless networks, how the connectivity works with our systems."
Bringing communication back in moments of despair.