“Dragon Firefighter”: Designed by Japanese researchers, this robot aims to help firefighters deal with fires.

“Dragon Firefighter”: Designed by Japanese researchers, this robot aims to help firefighters deal with fires.

Remember: A few months ago, we reported on the design of FireBot, a low-cost robot that a student imagined to help firefighters fight fires.

Recently, similar information has reached us. On Friday, December 22, plans for a relatively similar device were published in the magazine Frontiers in robotics and artificial intelligence. Dubbed “Dragon Firefighter”, this new robot – which therefore takes the form of a four-metre-long “flying dragon” – aims to revolutionize the sector.

A very original name, contradicting mythological tales and legends in which this mythical creature does not breathe water… but fire!

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The plans can be used by all roboticists

This ambitious project saw the light in the laboratory of Professor Satoshi Tadokoro, located at Tohoku University (Japan). The team of scientists hopes that the prototype can one day help firefighters around the world contain hard-to-reach flames.

One of the most interesting aspects of the scientists' approach is certainly the fact that the plans for the “Dragon Firefighter” are available to all roboticists who wish to exploit them.

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The creature, which researchers – who worked in close collaboration with firefighters for several years – could have been propelled upward thanks to jets of water emanating from its head and body. We also learn that it will be possible to direct the flows in the direction of the flame and pump up to 6.6 liters of water per second, while the pressure can reach one MPa.

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Users of this robot will be given a built-in camera to position it correctly. Everything will be connected to a 14,000 liter water tank and will be controlled remotely.

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The bot is not yet ready for deployment

In 2020, the first public demonstration of the “Dragon Firefighter” took place. Since then, the concept has been improved. The researchers who participated in the project are making sure that the water flow is better directed and that the robot has become more waterproof.

Furthermore, it now requires much less time to prepare for flight, while the problem of plastic deformation (when exposed to heat) has been solved.

However, firefighters who want to use the Dragon Firefighter will have to be patient. A number of developments are still underway, and scientists estimate that it will take about ten years before the robot is deployed in real firefighting scenarios. Right now, their main challenge is extending the device's range beyond ten metres.

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