Rescue Rats

Ir. Sander Verdiesen
Wednesday, June 12 , 12:40 PM - 1:20 PM
Blauwe Zaal, Auditorium
Price: Free (Student) Free (Others)

Animals have always been used as unique helping hands. Inventor Sander Verdiesen explains how a well-trained rat, with a backpack full of technology, can substantially improve relief efforts in disaster areas.

In the aftermath of disasters like earthquakes or mine collapses, every moment counts. However, the crucial task of determining who is trapped under the rubble and where they are can remain a daunting challenge for hours on end. To get a snapshot of the situation, TU/e and Belgian organization APOPO, headquartered in Tanzania, are jointly working on the RescueRATs project. This initiative harnesses the remarkable abilities of African giant pouched rats that are equipped with specialized “backpacks” transporting cameras and walkie talkies. These rats have already been used for 25 years to detect land mines and tuberculosis, amongst others. They can move through the smallest openings in debris to locate victims. And once they find someone, they trigger a button on their chest, sending a signal to the search and rescue team to launch a timely operation.

The backpack is currently undergoing testing while the rats are being trained. The designers are  now also working on optimizing underground (GPS) location tracking, as this remains a challenge. Later this year, a testing period will commence in Turkey. If successful, and once the backpack has been further optimized, the backpacked RescueRATs could potentially save many lives. 

Today’s speaker, Ir. Sander Verdiesen, an Electrical Engineer and TU/e alumnus specialized in Electromagnetics, plays a pivotal role in the project as inventor and engineer. His dedication to advancing the RescueRATs prototype since his 2019 internship underscores the project's promise and importance in disaster response.

Ticket reservation recommended
To be assured of a seat, we recommend reserving a ticket (black "order" button).

SG & USE/ITEC registration 
Please register for SG & USE/ITEC by scanning your student ID at the venue prior to the start of the program.
More information about SG & USE/ITEC can be found here

All programs conveniently listed in your inbox?

Sign up for our bi-weekly newsletter now.

Sign up