Robot Snake Flies, Fights Fires

Sweet! Robotic snake firefighting robot supports itself on columns of water, which also fight fires!

Don't forget your raincoat, though.


(Robot firefighting snake)

Since the nozzles are steerable, each module can direct itself independently, letting the hose weave itself through small gaps deep into a structure in order to find the source of a fire. And the “head” module comes with a few extra degrees of freedom to allow the water stream to be directed more precisely. And of course, while the head nozzle is fighting the source of the fire, a byproduct of the body of the hose keeping itself airborne is that it’s drenching everything that it’s passing over, while also keeping itself cool.

The 2-meter long prototype in the video above is intended to be a single segment in a robot that can be extended to an arbitrary length by just adding on more segments. A gas engine powered a compressor that provided water at 0.7 MPa. It worked reasonably well, as prototypes go, but it’s really more of a proof of concept in hardware than anything else, and obviously there’s a lot to do before a system like this could be real-world useful.

This robot reminded me of the Anna Konda Robot Spraying Water Video, which you might also enjoy.

Emmett McDowell referred to a mechanical mining worm in his 1946 short story Love Among the Robots. Not for fires, though.

Via IEEE Spectrum.

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