The non-profit organization APOPO, together with the Dutch Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e), have started a program in which they hope to train mice so that they can be used for search and rescue missions.
The idea is that mice can, for example, search for humans during earthquakes or other natural disasters. For it all to work, the researchers at TU/e have developed a 3D-printed backpack that should have a camera and GPS as well as speakers and a microphone that makes it possible to communicate two-way with people that mice might find under rescue missions.
So far, they are testing and developing the equipment in the backpack and trying to make mice learn how to behave in different rescue situations. It is believed that in the future it may take 9 to 12 months to train mice before they are ready to go on a rescue mission. However, there seems to be no timetable yet on which we could see mice used in such missions.
In the video below, you can find out more about APOPO rescue rats. We’ve written about APOPO many times before, when their rats were also trained to find mines buried in conflict-affected countries. This is something that mice seem to be able to do with enthusiasm, which you can read more about in the articles linked below.
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