Fire-Fighting Robotics

Fire-Fighting Remotely Operated Vehicles developed in 2006 – 2010 with the assistance of SEEDA Regional Development Funding, these are suitable for:

Cooling gas (particularly Oxygen & Acetylene) cylinders in the fire-ground
Operating as a ground monitor where positioning by personnel is too dangerous
Situation awareness, victim location and direct fire intervention in dangerous locations, particularly where structural collapse is a real possibility

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SMALL FIREMOTE

200Kg rubber-tracked Remotely Operated Vehicle, fitted with a monitor that can handle up to 1,700 Litres per minute of water.  We limited its width to ensure that it can fit through a standard doorway.

Our first SEEDA Funded Prototype which went through several iterations.  This is an electrically powered fire fighting remotely operated vehicle, that we designed to provide fire fighting capability in fire ground locations that are too dangerous for fire fighters.  The battery capacity provides a mission time exceeding 2 hours if repositioned constantly or much longer if kept in mainly one spot.

To enable remote control from outside a 200 Metre exclusion zone, the norm for incidents involving oxy-acetylene cylinders, the Firemote is controlled by a high power two-way radio-modem with first-person-view video feedback.  We recommend upgrading to COFDM to allow reliable non-line-of-sight operation and video.

The tracked drive system gives the Firemote the capability to climb and descend stairs and pull a long length of hose across difficult terrain.

The water is supplied from a standard fire appliance by a 45 or 70mm hose and delivered through two outlets.  There are two outlets; a shield spray to protect the Firemote from fire heat radiation and a high volume variable pattern jet or spray via a monitor that has controllable slew and elevation, to fight the fire directly.

We fitted the Firemote with additional auxiliary control outputs and inputs for operating a lifting arm for special operations.  We also have the capability to fit it with body temperature monitoring.

Small Firemote
Firemote 4800
Large Firemote

FIREMOTE 4800

1 Tonne rubber-tracked Remotely Operated Vehicle, fitted with a monitor that can handle up to 4,800 Litres per Minute of water.

The background to the Firemote 4800 was to produce a larger electrically powered fire-fighting remotely operated vehicle that could deliver a larger flowrate of water for fighting difficult fires, particularly where there is the possibility of acetylene gas cylinder explosion.

The Firemote 4800 works on the same principle, but we fitted it with the following additional features:

  • Twin hose inlet with remote release, in case the hose is snagged
  • Water cooled chassis
  • 36 Volt Electrical Drive. The battery capacity provides a mission time exceeding 2 hours if repositioned constantly or much longer if kept in mainly one spot.
  • Near-360° First Person View for better situation awareness
  • 4,800 Litre per minute water flow rate
  • Body and water outlet temperature monitoring
  • 4-gas monitoring
  • Width reduction system to fit through narrow gaps

The Firemote 4800 was sold to TianJin Fire Brigade in China, complete with a COFDM control link.  During a support visit, we were able to drive the Firemote along a U-Shaped route between multi-floor industrial buildings without loss of control or video feedback.

ACCESSORIES

THERMAL IMAGING CAMERA

This enables viewing of the seat of the fire and heat from victims in the fire-ground.

WATERWALL BLAST PROTECTION ISOLATOR

Developed by Cintec in Newport, after a fire-fighter was lost during a garage fire involving oxygen and acetylene cylinders, this is a double-skinned bag that works in the following way:

  • Using a special arm, the Firemote positions the Waterwall in front of the explosion hazard
  • The bag’s double-skin inflated to shape it into a cube around the hazard
  • The bag’s double-skin is then filled with water to form a wall of water that has been demonstrated to stop shrapnel and the fireball itself travelling a significant distance

The Firemote with the correct fittings can carry out the entire operation with no one within the exclusion zone.

Firemote with Waterwall