10 Superhero Robots to the Rescue: Photos

An entire industry has devoted itself to designing bots and UAVs specifically designed to save human lives.

style="text-align: left;">Robots and drones get a bad rap sometimes, but there's an entire industry out there designing bots and UAVs specifically designed to save human lives. Here we take a look at some of these machines, including Boston Dynamics' BigDog robot -- pictured above. Like a hydraulic St. Bernard, the robot can deliver emergency supplies to remote or hazardous areas over rough terrain.

style="text-align: left;">Crash-Proof Drone Tossed Into Icy Crevasse

style="text-align: left;">Toshiba's custom-designed two-arm underwater robot was constructed for the express purpose of removing debris and fuel rods from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, destroyed by an earthquake in March of 2011.

style="text-align: left;">Net-Wielding Police Drones Nab Criminal Drones

style="text-align: left;">Drone Systems' Scout UAS is designed to be used by the first arriving units in emergency situations. It can be deployed in under two minutes to provide aerial view of disasters or wildfires.

style="text-align: left;">Swarming Ants Offer Robot Rescue Tips

style="text-align: left;">The Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) has developed a hybrid aerial drone that can enter flaming skyscrapers and endure flames of more than 1,000 degrees Celsius. The bot can shift from flight mode to spider mode on its own, crawling up walls to navigate narrow spaces.

style="text-align: left;">Lifeguard Drone Seven Times Faster Than Humans

style="text-align: left;">S.W.A.R.M. (Search With Aerial RC Multirotor) is a volunteer network of drone owners that work with authorities in search-and-rescue scenarios. Coordinated drone searches are less expensive than piloted aircraft operations, and can cover larger areas. The group has more than 1,000 members in 42 countries.

style="text-align: left;">Drone Swarm! 50 UAVs Controlled By One Pilot

style="text-align: left;">This concept UAV from industrial designers Frog Design can be deployed in skiing areas for both avalanche prevention and rescue. The drone could carry explosives to trigger controlled avalanches, or use its thermal cameras to locate people trapped under snow.

style="text-align: left;">Drone Finds Missing Elderly Man In 20 Minutes

style="text-align: left;">Another concept UAV from Frog Design, the Firestorm uses an array of advanced sensors to move through burning buildings. Powerful LED lights and a short-wave bullhorn can be used to guide survivors to safety.

style="text-align: left;">Hero Drone Flies, Floats, Dives Underwater

style="text-align: left;">Developed by a German nonprofit, the Defikopter is designed to deliver defibrillator units to victims in remote locations. The drone can be summoned by smartphone app and uses GPS coordinates to drop the defibrillator by parachute.

style="text-align: left;">Drones And Digital Mappers Boost Nepal Rescue

style="text-align: left;">From the Bristol-Oxford Nuclear Research Centre in England, the Airborne Radiation Mapping (AARM) drone carries special radiation detection payloads. Deployed into radioactive environments, the UAV can quickly determine whether a particular area is safe humans.

style="text-align: left;">Drones To Assist Search-And-Rescue In Maine

style="text-align: left;">Another innovative design from Boston Dynamics, the SandFlea can jump up to 30 feet in the air to overcome obstacles during reconnaissance missions. Onboard stabilizers keep the bot level while it's in flight, and the bot is accurate enough to jump directly into second- or third-floor windows.

style="text-align: left;">Drones Could Rescue Drowning Victims