VIDEO: It’s the most dangerous part of being a firefighter: entering a burning structure blind to look for victims. What if a robot could go in first?
As these first responders search for people who might be inside the flames, dangers like toxic gases pose life-threatening hazards. Additionally, burning buildings may be unstable and could collapse on those inside at any moment.
After hearing about a local firefighter’s death, 17-year-old Siddharth Thakur, a University of Texas engineering student, invented what he hopes to be a solution. It’s called the Firebot: a fire-resistant, radio-enhanced intelligence-gathering robot.
He brought his initial idea of a firefighting robot to his advisor Roland Fields, a supervisor at the the Fabrication and Innovation lab at Houston Community College. Fields says he thought it was a novel idea.