Firefighting robot

Published:  30 October, 2018

The latest development in the fight against high-rise fires in Singapore’s urban landscape is not a large firefighting engine, it is a robot.

Designed by bespoke engineering firm Hope Technik, the firefighting robot is an unmanned ground vehicle (UGV). It is a portable emergency responder robot that assists firefighters in fighting high-rise fires, especially in highly dangerous environments where it is not safe for people to enter.

Measuring just under a metre long and half a metre wide and just 60cm in height, the robot weighs less than 80kg. This makes it light enough for two firefighters to carry while climbing stairs and small enough to be stowed in a Tumbler Element fire response vehicle, a compact, lightweight firefighting vehicle that can negotiate tight urban spaces with ease.

Hope Technik’s project manager Ng Kiang Loong explained that the robot is a result of an effort to develop technology to extinguish fires while ensuring the safety of firefighters. ‘At the end of the day, we want our firefighters to be able to return to their families safe and sound. The firefighting robot allows them to do their job while mitigating the potential dangers they face during a firefighting operation.’

The firefighting robot is designed to reduce the risks to firefighters. It is equipped with a thermal imager that can detect hot zones in a room autonomously without being impeded by smoke. The scenes captured by the robot’s camera are then transmitted live to the operator’s control unit, allowing firefighters to assess the fire scene and guide the robot remotely from a safe distance.

To combat small yet potentially lethal fires in confined spaces, the firefighting robot has the flexibility to discharge foam from its 7.5-litre on-board foam solution tank or water through its water monitor. Water is drawn from a fire hydrant by connecting a hose to the rear of the robot. 

The robot is also capable of traversing uneven surfaces. It has a top speed of up to one metre per second and an operational power capacity of one hour.

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