Japanese researchers have developed a ‘flying dragon’ robot to fight fires from a distance.

These flying firefighter robots can be ready for real-world use in the next decade.

The blueprint of this novel firefighter robot called the Dragon Firefighter, has now been published in Frontiers in Robotics and AI. Roboticists around the world may freely use the plans to build their own Dragon Firefighters, for the benefit of all.

“We present a prototype of a four-meter-long, remotely controllable flying firehose robot, engineered to safely and efficiently extinguish fires in buildings by directly approaching the fire sources,” said Dr Yuichi Ambe, an assistant professor at Osaka University.

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The Dragon Firefighter’s firehose is propelled upward (flying at two meters above the ground) by eight controllable jets of water spouting from its center and head.

The firehose can change shape and be oriented towards flames, steered by a control unit in a wheeled cart behind. The cart is connected through a supply tube to a fire truck with a water reservoir of 14,000 liters.

The nozzles spout water at a rate of 6.6 liters per second with a pressure of up to one megapascal. The hose’s tip contains a conventional and thermal imaging camera, which helps to find the location of the fire.

“We estimate that it will take approximately 10 more years to deploy our robot in real-world firefighting scenarios,” said Ambe.

“The primary challenge will be to extend its reach to beyond 10 meters. Developing effective firefighting tactics tailored to this robot’s unique capabilities will likewise be a critical aspect of further development,” he added.

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