STEM research project questions

Hello everyone
We are a team of five British KS3 students who have formed an all-girls robotics team, known as HBS Blaze, and we are currently participating in the Vex IQ Crossover competition. Part of this includes a STEM research project and topics include robots in day to day life, robots in the workplace etc. We have chosen to focus on disaster robotics and rescue robots to help rescue people drowning. We were wondering if you could answer some of our questions.

What are the most important aims to keep in mind when designing a rescue robot?
Which power sources are useful?
How can we reduce the cost of building a robot so that they can be more widely used in the UK?
Why do you think that rescue robots do not have a very big role in the UK compared to countries such as the USA and Japan?

Thank you very much for your time and your contribution will be much appreciated.

i think most of the cost comes from (almost) custom electronic control circuits, if we had a standard equipment for such use, like cpus and motherboards in the computer industry, prices would fall

You might get more and better answers on the VEX IQ Forum, which is similar to this one, but dedicated to VEX IQ Challenge participants. Good luck!