You pull up to a large high-rise residence in the middle of the night to find fire on two floors. Instead of immediately going into that inferno you open a compartment on the rig and suddenly scores of little robotic helicopters fly out and into the building. If they could talk, the would yell to the firefighters, "Don't worry we've got it". If a victim is found, the robotic choppers would direct the firefighters in for the save.
Pei Zhang, a professor at Carnegie Mellon University thinks that is a possibility for the future of these hovering drones equipped with radios, gyroscopes, and compasses. Zhang believes it's a way to make firefighting safer.
From what little I know about these things, I have no doubt there are some very functional uses for technology like this that could help in some search situations. While I have lots of questions (as I am sure you do), let me start with just two. Who will be forcing the doors throughout the building so these electronic heroes can do their work? How well do you expect these gizmos to hold up or fly under the high temperatures of a fire.
That said, they look some real fun things to play with. Do you think I could do a product review?