Bergh the robotic search and rescue dog. Photo by FDNY.
30 Apr 2023

Remote controlled robotic technology in garage collapse - see how it was used for rapid response



The Twitter post from the City of New York about Bergh the robotic rescue dog.One week after the collapse of a parking garage in the Financial District of Manhattan, the FDNY and NYPD gave a demonstration on Tuesday on how they used technology to quickly search the building for survivors and victims.

In a recent article, CBS News wrote about how the fire department and the police in New York City used robotic technology to search and extricate victims after a garage collapse on Manhattan in April. 

CBS2 visited the FDNY Training Academy on Randalls Island, where firefighters had invited  the media to see first hand how rescuers, together with the police department, were able to use their various drones and a robotic dog in a very quick, safe response.

The robotic dog is officially named "Bergh", after Henry Bergh, who founded the animal rescue society ASPCA.

"Bergh" weighs 70 pounds  (32 kilograms) and can walk up staircases, and if it falls or get knocked over it can get back up on its feet by itself. It can also open doors. The robotic dog has an audio device which can be used to listen to cries for help. It was also able to help inspect the structural integrity of the building.


Fire Commissioner Laura Kavanaugh´s Twitter post about Bergh the robot rescue dog.

During the parking garage collapse on April 18, 2023, "Bergh" was put to the test "live" for the first time in a real incident. According to officials, the garage had to be searched because no one knew how many  people may had been trapped in the ruble, and to enter with human rescuers was very dangerous.

According to CBC News, "Bergh" searched the first floor and second floor. About 25 feet into the building it stopped so the operator could use a thermal camera to detect heat. One of the robotic dogs was able to find the garage's general manager who was killed during the collapse.

City inspectors are still investigating the age of the building and if the weight of the cars may have been possible factors in the collapse.

Read more here on CBS News on the robotic search and rescue technology in New York City.