In extreme environments hazardous to humans, robots present a favorable solution. A snake-like design aims to help firefighters reach difficult locations by maneuvering its way into windows or other small spaces.
The device was presented by Tohoku University and National Institute of Technology Hachinohe College researchers at the International Conference on Robotics and Automation.
What sets this design apart is its power source. High-pressure, downward-facing jets act like rocket engines, allowing it to glide through the air. Steerable nozzle modules are placed along the length of the hose, which enable the water stream to siphon out and spray toward the ground. Maximum height is determined by hose length and water pressure.
The robot can weave through tight locations thanks to the independence of each module.
The video below demonstrates a 2-meter-long prototype, sporting a gas engine powered by a compressor. The researchers admit there is much work to be done, such as improving their current control algorithms.
You can learn more in the article, “Aerial Hose Type Robot by Water Jet for Fire Fighting,” published in IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters.