Researchers at King's College London and Sheffield Hallam University have developed a prototype robot assistant that could be used to guide firefighters through extremely thick smoke and other hazardous areas.
The device is not a robotic firefighter, but rather is akin to a guide dog. It leads firefighters into rescue areas, with firefighters holding on to its reins. This system will allow firefighters to move swiftly through highly dangerous, low-visibility conditions. The robot will detect obstacles and send vibrations through the reins to alert the fighter to the size and shape of obstacles.
The robot assistant can even slow down or speed up in response to the firefighter's pace, ensuring that there's no second guessing or discomfort.
Given the difficulty and hazardous nature of their jobs, firefighters need all the help they can get. This robot assistant could certainly help firefighters save more lives, including their own.