A version of this article originally appeared on Climate Progress.
In the last few years, we’ve seen an increase in extreme weather events and environmental disasters -- costing us money, and far more importantly, human lives.
Some have been natural (or indirectly caused by humans due to climate change), and others, like BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, have been directly caused by us.
With scientists warning that the frequency of wildfires, floods, drought, and other catastrophes will only increase as the planet warms, engineers are now focusing on how to use robots and other mechanical gadgets to aid in disaster response. Some of these bots vacuum up oil, some sort rubble and rescue earthquake survivors, and some help battle wildfires. Here’s a look at three of the coolest robotic defenders, both in use and on the horizon.