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How drones can be used for firefighting?

Drones for fire control
How drones can be used for firefighting? Is it possible to get a drone to some real life saving work? Professors at Olin College and MIT are studying how to use drones in field for fighting fires. Professors are of the view that they can develop a fleet of self flying intelligent drones programmed to gather intelligence reports/ insights from fire field that will help firefighters in devising a more powerful strategy in battling out of control blazes. Not only this information will help in fire control but it will also help the firefighters in knowing more about the wildfires. Previously we discussed how mechanical engineers are working on a project idea of designing a robot for firefighting.

Andrew Bennett, who is a mechanical engineering professor at Olin College in Needham, and his partner, MIT professor Jonathan How, hope to have the drone system ready for demonstrations this spring. They are hopeful that first prototype of the intelligent drones will be ready for flight before spring. After successful flight tests of the drone, intelligent functions like tracking fire and critical heat zones will be tested using tractors and artificial fire flames in open grounds.

“Fail early, try often” should be the motto for all mechanical engineers working on such projects.

How will this drone work?, is the question here. In very simple words, this drone will allow firefighters to point out a fire zone/ most critical zone on a map using GPS coordinates. Comprehensive fire examination report containing heat level information will also be supplied by the drone. The drone will be intelligent enough to examine fire from safe distance and along the edges. It will also be capable of calling another drone for backup when battery runs low.

Firefighting is not fun. It requires lot of courage, knowledge and expertise. Knowing that how fire burns and where it might move next is the most important part of firefighting, said Chief Fire Warden David Celino of the state’s Department of Conservation and Recreation. Forecasting and knowing the behavior of fire is really exciting.

“No matter how futuristic the technology is, you still go back to the fundamentals of firefighting: Success in trying to get containment or control over a fire is all about gathering the size-up information — the intelligence about what’s going on with the fire,” he said.

Being a mechanical engineer, I am excited to know more about the future of both these projects. i.e. robots and drones as firefighters. If you have found this idea wonderful, share it with your friends on facebook to acknowledge the efforts of mechanical engineers.

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