Two self-driving firefighting robots developed by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (HMI) are preparing to lend their disaster relief services—the Water Cannon Robot and the Hose Extension Robot. The first will cool fires too hazardous for humans, getting its water supply from the latter, which can lay up to 300 m of fire hose.
Once on the scene, the Water Cannon Robot gets into position as its partner lays down the hose on its trek to the water source. As soon as everything is in place, the Water Cannon Robot can release “up to 4,000 liters per minute at a pressure of 1.0 MPa,” according to HMI.
The robots are equipped with odometry, IMU, ridar, and RTK-GPS sensors, enabling autonomous movements.
According to the company, “Together, the two robots, when integrated with a ‘reconnaissance and surveillance robot’ (available in aerial and ground models) and a command system, constitute a ‘Firefighting Robot System.’ The system is designed for installation on a dedicated transport vehicle that can be brought directly to the location of the fire.”
Both models were constructed on altered chassis frames of small farm buggies.
The HMI robots are part of a five-year project led by Japan’s Fire and Disaster Management Agency (FDMA).