Robots can go where people can't. Getting them there is the big challenge. : Robots are seeing increased use in the direct aftermath of natural disasters. They can weave beneath rubble and spend time in radioactive environments that would fry a human. One of the most important functions a robot can perform in a disaster scenario is beaming vital sensor data to first responders. But getting robots on the scene isn't easy. Debris can make ground transportation difficult, and thick smoke can impede an aerial approach.