Meet Thermite, the extreme robot firefighter that can go where no man has gone before
// November 1st, 2012 // Technology
Constructed by Howe and Howe Technologies, the Thermite RS1-T2 automated firefighting machine is designed to go into situations and blazes that firefighters could not normally enter – chemical plants, nuclear reactors, munitions plants, and other dangerous places that firefighters would draw straws for. Originally designed to neutralize IEDs in war zones, Thermite was redesigned as a mini-tank capable of pumping out up to 1,500 gallons of water per minute (about the equivalent of a full-size fire truck). The R/C mini tank machine can carry 1,300 pounds on its back, winch thousands of pounds, and climb 18-inch vertical steps, all while the operator remains up to a half-mile away from the dangerous fire. And although it’s military-tank tough, its compact size allows it to enter doorways and other narrow areas that a human firefighter would be required to go into.
Business Manager Ronald Lemons eases firemen’s fears though.
“It is designed as a firefighter’s tool, not a firefighter replacement. This is a tool to get fire suppression where a chief deems too dangerous to send a person or requires an additional standoff.”
Yeah, right. Regardless, we could envision a swarm of these bad boys dropping off transportation trucks and speeding into a blazing home.
Measuring 74” L x 35” W x 55” H and weighing in at 1,640 pounds, Thermite is constructed of A440f steel and aircraft grade aluminum. It has a robotic system startup time of only 5 seconds. To keep cool, the robot passes some of the water through its own internal veins as a liquid coolant. If things get really hot, its roll cage transforms into a sprinkler type system and internal cooling fans suck in mist when heat reaches critical levels.
Check out Howe and Howe Technologies promo video below as well as some pictures of Thermite in action.
Sources: Howe and Howe Technologies
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