Hoping to reduce the number of people who are still believed to
be missing in the wake of Nepal's 7.8 magnitude earthquake, rescue
crews are using a custom version of Panasonic's Toughbook H2 tablet
and FINDER technology.
Finding Individuals for Disaster and Emergency Response (FINDER)
is a technology developed by the U.S. Department of Homeland
Security Science (S&T) and Technology Directorate and NASA's
Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). It can provide the approximate
location of trapped individuals within five feet, and it also
provides rescuers confirmation of a heartbeat. A custom version of
Panasonic's Toughbook H2 Windows tablet is
being used to make use of the FINDER technology. Toughbooks are
designed to withstand a variety of extreme outdoor conditions.
FINDER has already been put to good use in Nepal. Rescue workers
were able to find four men who were buried underneath several feet
of debris in the village of Chautara in Nepal, several days after
the earthquake. Two prototypes are also currently deployed in
Nepal, with rescuers hoping they can find even more people with
FINDER tech was demonstrated on 7 May in London. S&T
and JPL will make the device available for commercial enterprise in
the hopes of equipping as many search and rescue teams around the
world with it as possible. No pricing or specific time frame
was given for the rescue tablet's release.