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Fire Fighting

Robotics with AI
Emir Selmanovi,
Haris Memovi
and Lejla Deko


Professor Adnan Strojil

American University in
Bosnia and Herzegovina

Could robots fight fires instead of humans?

Robots and drones are traditionally deployed to do jobs that humans find dirty, dull, or
dangerous. With the development in the field of robotics, human intrusion has become less
and robots are being widely used for safety purpose. In our day-to-day life, fire accidents have
become common and sometimes may lead to hazards that make it hard for the firemen to
protect human life. In such cases, a fire fighting robot is used to guard human lives, wealth,
and surroundings from the fire accidents. Most of the firefighting robots in development or
being used today are controlled remotely, are tethered by a fire hose which supplies water,
and they have infrared and standard cameras which transmit images back to the operator.

Robots used in fire-fighting, are composed of remotely controlled master stream nozzle,
nozzles moving up and down and 360 degrees. These devices are collected in special shock-
proof and explosion-proof corps and are designed for both controlled and stand-alone
operation in extreme conditions.

To perform firefighting in a fully autonomous form on a stationary robot was installed

artificial intelligence. Artificial intelligence system allows the firefighting robot to collect
information from its warning devices of different directions, to analyze it and determine the
location of the fire by method of exclusion. The analysis of several factors and signals allows
the system to avoid errors and inaccuracies during fire fighting. For example, a master stream
nozzle mounted on an offshore platform, will not respond to water shine as the fire. The
system can be installed in another way. In this case, the robot turns into a segment of the
system coordinating its actions with the central control system, with electronic devices or
working staff and receive information from the central control system.

Robot performing fire fighting is not content with just the definition of the direction and
strength of fire. Included in the system various warning devices determine the distance to
ignition source and adjust the force and the distance of the jet coming out of nozzle. Rotating
nozzles fitted with a device enabling usage of plain water and foam as extinguishing agent. In
addition, spraying of extinguishing agent can also be adjusted. For example, the robot can
provide water in a stream or water spray form.

Modern materials during combustion create around themselves poisonous atmosphere harmful
to human life. Due to this poisonous atmosphere people involved in fire fighting completely
cannot keep putting out the fire or do it blindly. The result in many cases is either inefficient
or totally ineffective. There is no need to evacuate master stream nozzle because the high-
temperature environment is not dangerous for it. This trunk, which is in the midst of the fire,
allows spot (local) fire-fighting. Undoubtedly, this makes possible to increase the level of fire
safety, and as a result raised protection of lives and property to a new level of quality.

Fire fighting, arguably one of the worlds most dangerous professions, could become much
safer thanks to the AI.

When fire-fighters enter a building, theyre expected to use their training and senses to find
trapped civilians and deliver them from danger. While drilled behaviours and instinct are
important tools for every fire-fighter, they cant compare to the insight that can be gleaned
from big data.


Over the last 9 months the US Department of Homeland Security and NASAs Jet Propulsion
Laboratory have been hard at work developing an artificial intelligence system that can
leverage big data to help keep fire-fighters safe. Named the Assistant for Understanding Data
through Reasoning, Extraction, and sYnthesis (AUDREY) this algorithm can track fire-
fighters as they move through a structure using sensors embedded in the first-responders
uniforms. As a fire-fighter moves through an environment, AUDREY could send alerts
through a mobile device or head-mounted display. Armed with a suite of sensors that can
detect heat in adjacent rooms, concentrations of dangerous gases, and detailed maps of a
structure, fire-fighters would be able to move through a structure in the safest, most efficient
manner, making it possible to save more lives and protect their own.

But sensors alone arent enough to make AUDREY work. The brains of the AUDREY AI
systems run on the cloud, leveraging computing power and the systems ability to learn and
make predictions about what first responders will need in the immediate future.

Shipboard Autonomous Fire fighting Robot

(SAFFiR) is a humanoid robot developed by
researchers at Virginia Tech. The 65 kg SAFFiR
comes equipped with infrared vision, which allows it
to see through dense smoke, and a rotating laser for
light detection and ranging (LIDAR)

TAF 20

The TAF 20short for Turbine Aided Fire fightingis a robot built in partnership by the
Italian engineering firm EmiControls and the German fire fighting firm Magirus. It cost the
Australian state $310,000 according to a release.

The fire-fighting robot can shoot out mists of water or foam from 60 meters (197 feet) or jets
of water from 90 meters (295 feet) away. It was first deployed at a fire in Sydney last week,
and will be used for brushfires this coming summer.

The jobs that dont involve any hardware or human power at all that are at most risk of being
automated. The next frontier for automation is non-routine work, Matt Beane, a researcher
at MITs Sloan School of Management said. Some of the biggest changes in work could be
at the high end. These jobs can be automated without a physical avatar. Once you have got
good AI, its replicable at almost zero cost.

So while fire-fighters can be replaced by robots operated by artificial intelligence (AI) or a

human operator, its still expensive to manufacture that hardware. Given examples though
prove that it is possible even though replacing lawyers or software developers or journalists,
however, could result in the ultimate scalable business.

Will fire fighting robots ever replace human fire-fighters? Not on a large scale in the near
future, but there have been advances in technology in recent years that has resulted in them
being used on actual fires. There is no question that they could be useful in certain types of
incidents where the environment would be very dangerous for humans, such as hazardous
materials, radioactivity, or a propane tank that could explode.


1. http://www.engineering.com/DesignerEdge/DesignerEdgeArticles/ArticleID/12901/Fi
2. https://www.fastcompany.com/3042048/the-robot-that-could-make-firefighters-
3. https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2015/12/could-robots-fight-fires-instead-of-humans/
4. http://safelife.az/en/index.php/services/firefighting-robots-.html
5. https://www.elprocus.com/projects-on-fire-fighting-robotic-vehicle/
6. http://www.instructables.com/id/Autonomous-Fire-Fighter-Robot/