This robotic hose-dragon could jet its way into burning buildings


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Whereas hose-toting drones could also be a fantasy, hose-powered robo-dragons (or robotic hose-dragons — nevertheless you prefer it) are very a lot a actuality. This unusual however probably helpful robotic from Japanese researchers might snake into the home windows of burning buildings, blasting all the things round it with the highly effective jets of water it makes use of to maneuver itself.

Sure, it’s an actual factor: Created by Tohoku College and Hachinohe School, the DragonFireFighter was presented last month on the Worldwide Convention on Robotics and Automation.

It really works on the identical precept your hose does if you flip it on and it begins flapping round in all places. Primarily your hose is appearing as a easy jet: the pressure of the water being blasted out pushes the hose itself in the other way. So what if the hose had a number of nozzles, pointing in a number of instructions, that might be opened and closed independently?

Properly, you’d have a robotic hose-dragon. And we do.

The DragonFireFighter has a nozzle-covered kind of “head” and what can solely be referred to as a “neck.” The water strain from the hose is diverted into quite a few retailers on each to be able to create a secure place that may be adjusted kind of at will.

It requires a little bit of human intervention to go forwards, however, as you'll be able to see, a number of jets are pushing it that path already, presumably at this level for stability and rigidity functions. If the operators had just a little extra line to offer it, it appears to me it might zoom out fairly a bit farther than the place it was permitted to within the video.

For now it might be simpler to only direct all that water strain into the window, however one can definitely think about conditions the place one thing like this is able to be helpful.

DragonFireFighter was also displayed on the Worldwide Hearth and Catastrophe Prevention Exhibition in Tokyo.

One final thing. I actually have to offer credit score the place credit score’s due: I couldn’t probably outdo IEEE Spectrum’s headline, “Firefighting Robotic Snake Flies on Jets of Water.”