August 11th - 18th
National Institution for Youth Education
The Port and Airport Research Institute
Search and Rescue Robots
Project Manager of Hayabusa, JAXA
John V. Roos
U.S. Ambassador to Japan
48 total from U.S., Japan, China and Europe
Next Forum: Delft, Netherlands, August 23rd-31st, 2013
Apply now here: stelaforum.org/jp/jp-applicants/application-form.html
The natural disaster theme was motivated by the recent Tohoku disaster in Japan the previous year. Our goal was to address the concerns of rapid development in disaster-prone areas and assess possible technologies to aid communities when disasters strike. The content was broken down into three sub-categories: disaster prevention, immediate response, and disaster recovery.
Participants were given the opportunity for a site visit to Tohoku prior to the forum, to see some of the real damage and recovery process. During the forum, the participants visited PARI to understand how infrastructure is designed for damage and enabled for quick mitigation mechanisms. U.S. Ambassador to Japan, John Roos, came to talk about his role in leadership during the Tohoku disaster and how he managed to protect many through such a trying time.
Our group project provided a hands on a approach to new upcoming disaster recovery technologies: search and rescue (SAR) robots. Using the knowledge they learned from the thematic sessions and the skills they learned from the leadership sessions, teams spent only 2 days designing, developing, and testing a real robot that would be robust enough to unknown environments, just like a real disaster scenario. The final presentation and demonstration was held at the Rinkai Disaster Park (ktr.mlit.go.jp/showa/tokyorinkai/english/index.htm) in the iconic, Odaiba, in Tokyo.