March 2, 2024

Japanese researchers develop a “firefighting kite”

A team of Japanese researchers has developed a new type of firefighter robot called the Dragon Firefighter that is designed to fight fires from a distance. The four-metre-long, remote-controlled robot is intended to be able to extinguish fires in buildings safely and efficiently.

Development since 2016

The research team, led by Professor Satoshi Tadokoro of Tohoku University, began developing the flying robots in 2016. In total, eleven researchers and students contributed to Dragon Firefighter. During development, engineers worked closely with Japanese firefighters to better understand and take their needs into account.

The result is impressive. The Dragon Firefighter's fire hose is powered by eight controllable water jet nozzles, which spray water at a rate of 6.6 liters per second and a pressure of up to one MPa. The hose has a conventional and thermal imaging camera at the end that helps determine the location of the fire. The device is connected to a water tank that can hold about 14,000 litres.

The Dragon Firefighter was first shown at the opening ceremony of the World Robot Summit 2020, where the robot succeeded in extinguishing the symbolic flame. doctor. Yoichi Ambe, an assistant professor at Osaka University, explains in A press release: “Since the demo at WRS2020, we have continued to work on improving our Dragon and gained many new ideas.”

The plans for the robot are available to the public

However, it will likely take a few years before a fire service robot comes into use. “We estimate that it will take about 10 years before our robot is used in real firefighting scenarios,” Ambi says. “The biggest challenge will be extending its range beyond 10 metres. Developing effective firefighting methods tailored to this robot’s unique capabilities will also be a crucial aspect for further development.”

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The scientists recently published the results of their research in the specialized journal “Frontiers in robotics and artificial intelligenceThe team now plans to publish the robot plans as open science so that robotics researchers around the world can build their own dragon firefighters.

picture Matthias Grüneveld on Pixabay