This post from Scientific American paints a lovely picture of the future of disaster response.
“Consider a rescue worker with a box full of 1,000 RoboBees—a package that would weigh less than a kilogram. The RoboBees could be released at the site of a natural disaster to search for the heat, sound or exhaled carbon dioxide signature of survivors. If only three of the robots accomplish their task while the others fail, this is a success for the swarm. The same cannot be said about the current generation of $100,000 rescue robots.”
Maybe not as macho as human-scale rescue bots, but more elegant.