We are, unfortunately, all pretty familiar with the use of rescue dogs in disasters; the trained animals can scramble around in areas that human responders can't quickly get to, and can use their keener hearing and sense of smell to find victims more effectively.
In some situations even a smaller dog might not be able to gain access to certain areas, so maybe we could use something smaller such as, er, a cockroach? Not just any cockroach, but a big fat remote controlled one carrying a small sensor package - and if you want to see a photo, check out the article below, I don't to have to see it here *shudders* (not a fan of creepy-crawlies in general).
The cockroach "pilot" can actually make the critter stop and start and go right and left, although generally the insect would be allowed to do it's thing while the changing surroundings are remotely monitored. The thinking is that evolution can do a better job of scurrying and swarming than any currently available small robots.
The researchers are referring to these sensor-equipped insect conscripts as "biobots", probably because "remote-controlled robot cockroach" just sounds flat out creepy...