Firefighting Drones Fly and Climb Walls to Find Fires in Skyscrapers

A research team at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) has developed fireproof drones that can fly and climb the walls of skyscrapers. The unmanned aerial vehicle, named the Fireproof Aerial RObot System (FAROS), detects fires and searches for people inside high-rise buildings. It sends real-time data from the scene to a ground station.

The drone uses a quadrotor system to switch from flight mode to climbing walls as needed, in order to assess the situation. It navigates autonomously using a combination of a 2D-LiDAR sensor, an altimeter, and an Inertia Measurement Unit sensor. It uses a thermal-imaging camera to recognize objects or people inside a building, as well as dedicated image-processing technology for pinpointing where the fire started. The FAROS is fireproof and flame-retardant, with a thermoelectric cooling system at its core, which is surrounded by a buffer of air and then a skin made of heat-resistant aramid fibers.

“As cities become more crowded with skyscrapers and super structures, fire incidents in these high-rise buildings are life-threatening massive disasters,” said lead researcher Hyun Myung. “The FAROS can be aptly deployed to the disaster site at an early stage of such incidents to minimize the damage and maximize the safety and efficiency of rescue mission.”

In the video above, the KAIST team demonstrates the drone’s ability to climb walls in a smoky environment and withstand flames blasting heat over 1,000° Celsius for more than one minute.

Source: KAIST via Eurekalert

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