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Tricked-up drone aids firefighters

Posted: 10 Feb 2016 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:fire? drone? KAIST?

Fighting fires in skyscrapers has always been regarded as a challenge. Stuff that nightmares are made of. Or movies, like the Towering Inferno. Skyscraper fires are particularly difficult to contain because of their ability to spread rapidly in high-occupant density spaces and the challenge of fighting fires in the buildings' complex vertical structure. Accessibility to skyscrapers at the time of the fire is limited, and it is hard to assess the initial situation.

Researchers at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) have developed a wall-climbing scout drone to fight fires in high-rises, finding the source of the fires and locating people trapped inside. Led by Professor Hyun Myung of the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department, they have developed an unmanned aerial vehicle called the Fireproof Aerial RObot System (FAROS), which detects fires in skyscrapers, searches the inside of the building and transfers data in real time from fire scenes to the ground station.

Fireproof Aerial RObot System

Figure 1: A demonstration of the drone's wall climbing abilities. Check out the YouTube video at the end to see how the drone flips to cling on to walls.

The FAROS is an extended version of the Climbing Aerial RObot System (CAROS) that the same research team created in 2014. Unlike the CAROS, the FAROS can also fly.

The drone relies on a quad-rotor system for movement and to freely change its flight into a vertically oriented wall crawling mode and back. This, the researchers hope, will facilitate unimpeded navigation in the labyrinth of narrow spaces filled with debris and rubble inside a blazing building.

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