It just might be that in the future, the only thing that firefighters have to do is pose for calendars. Milrem Robotics and InnoVfoam have teamed up to develop robotic firefighting systems that can “assist or even replace firefighters in the most hostile environments.”
Milrem Robotics is a ground robotics leader in Europe, while InnoVfoam is a specialist in foam extinguishing technology. The two companies are working together to combine Milrem Robotics’ Multiscope Rescue unmanned ground vehicle (UGV) with InnoVfoams many different firefighting systems. The robots would be remotely operated by firefighters, allowing the firefighters to stay a safe distance from the danger while still having a complete view of the operation area. The robots would send back images using various cameras, including thermal and infrared, as well as data from different sensors that could also detect gas and chemical leaks.
Milrem’s UGV has a payload capacity of 1200 kg and can pull up to 21,000 N, which means it can be equipped with a number of firefighting systems, from foam to water tanks. The robot can be used to deliver heavy firehoses or to reach areas that are inaccessible or dangerous. With the capacity to dispense water and foam from 2,000 to 20,000 litres per minute, the InnoVfoam fire monitors could tip the scale in the firefighters’ favour. The UGV can also be tethered to drones for more control and data retrieval, allowing firefighters to better address the situation.
“In addition to fires in urban environments there are large scale forest and landscape fires every year that endanger the environment, the lives of inhabitants and especially firefighters,” says Kuldar Vaarsi, the CEO of Milrem Robotics. “The systems we are developing with InnoVfoam can alleviate dangers firefighters face and help contain fires faster.” No word on when these robots will be available, but that gives firefighters more time to get ready for their calendar spread.