Firefighter of the Future: Scientists Introduce Water-Spitting ‘Flying Dragon’ Bot

By: | December 27th, 2023

Imagine a firefighting hero not clad in a fireproof suit but adorned with sleek scales and wings. This isn’t a scene from a fantasy movie; it’s a glimpse into the future with the introduction of the water-spitting “flying dragon” robot. Thanks to the ingenuity of a team of Japanese researchers, this revolutionary mechanical creature, known as the Dragon Firefighter, could soon be part of firefighting teams worldwide, addressing fires deemed too perilous for human intervention.

Global Access to Blueprints for Collective Advancement

Recently unveiled in the prestigious journal Frontiers in Robotics and AI, this innovative technology is poised to revolutionize fire control. The research team has made the technology Open Science, sharing the blueprints globally. This enables roboticists to freely use the plans to build their own Dragon Firefighters for collective advancement.

Dragon Firefighter’s Water Jet Technology

Developed since 2016, the Dragon Firefighter, created by 11 researchers, collaborated with Japanese firefighters to address their needs in battling large fires. Raised two meters above the ground, the Dragon Firefighter employs eight adjustable water jets controlled by a wheeled cart. Linked to a fire truck, it expels water at 6.6 liters per second and one-megapascal pressure. The integrated camera system enhances firefighting capabilities by providing precise fire identification.

Precision in Action: The Dragon Firefighter’s Water Jet Technology

The Dragon Firefighter showcased its firefighting abilities at the World Robot Summit 2020, successfully extinguishing a flame from four meters away. Lessons learned led to improvements, including addressing issues with the original design. The study details enhancements such as better waterproofing and improved water flow. The researchers anticipate about 10 more years of development before deploying the robot in real-world firefighting scenarios, focusing on extending its reach beyond 10 meters and developing tailored firefighting tactics.

Nidhi Goyal

Nidhi is a gold medalist Post Graduate in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences.

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