The Mumbai Fire Department is conducting research and development on the effectiveness of their firefighting robot, which is an alternative to human firefighters. This robot can be used in situations that may be too dangerous for humans.
Depending on the results of the practical use of the robot, firefighters will decide whether to order more robots in the future. The price of one robot is 88 lakhs and was used to put out fire at several places in the city including Bandra and Borivali East.
In an interview with the Free Press Journal, fire chief Hemant Parab said: “We don’t take the robot with us to every fire, we only take it if we think it’s necessary and use it to its full capacity. For now, we only have one robot, but we expect to have more robots in the future. Currently, we are conducting research and development on the robot according to our practical experience through which we can decide whether we want to add new features to it.
“We did not use the robot during the recent Tardeo fire because it happened on the 19th floor and it would be difficult to get the robot up stairs to that floor. Also, when we have access to this area, it is not necessary to use the robot, because it is generally used to enter places inaccessible to firefighters. During the Tardeo fire, we used a few water pipes which were enough to extinguish fire, so it depends on the situation if we have to use the robot or not,” Parab added.
The robot was first spotted during a massive fire that broke out at the Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL) building in Bandra in 2019. The robot helped firefighters put out huge flames.
In December 2015, during the annual firefighting exercise in Mumbai, the firefighting robot was showcased and had become the talk of the town. In the 2018-2019 annual budget, the BMC provided for this expensive robot to modernize firefighters. Eventually, the BMC launched tenders for the purchase, commissioning and testing of the robot.
After the robot was put into operation, Mumbai became the first city in the country to have a firefighting robot.
The robot’s body is made of aluminum sheets that can withstand temperatures of up to 700 degrees Celsius. It can shoot 3,000 liters of water per minute and has four cameras, one of which can capture thermal images, which help firefighters search for people trapped in smoke and fire.
This robot comes with a two-year warranty and five-year maintenance. It can also help in very high temperature areas and narrow passages.
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Posted: Tuesday, January 25, 2022, 11:46 p.m. IST