We have to slowly get used to the vision that robots are becoming our everyday life in many areas - they help in diagnosing diseases and servicing hospitals (just mention the Spot model from Boston Dynamics, thanks to which doctors contacted patients with Covid-19), hotel services or airports, they defuse bombs and now they also fight fires. A new addition to the Los Angeles fire department has just left for its first action, namely a fire fighting robotic vehicle called Thermite RS3.
It is a robot weighing more than 1.5 tons, the size of a Smart car, so small enough to fit into double doors and strong enough to break through them if necessary, or through the wall next to them. Most importantly, however, it is capable of throwing 10,000 liters of water or foam per minute, and is even positioned vertically to act as a sprinkler. In addition, it is remotely controlled, remains fully operational for 20 hours without the need for refueling and can climb slopes up to 70 degrees.
Firefighters do not hide their excitement about their new work tool, although they say they must now rethink their fire fighting strategies, because with the RS3 by their side they will change a bit. According to LAFD, the robot had the opportunity to show its capabilities in action, when it set off with the rest of the firefighters to a fire that consumed two buildings of the Fashion District, the center of the U.S. West Coast clothing industry, where many clothing companies have their stores, hence the name. On site, he worked with 130 firefighters to put out the fire and help clear debris from inside the building where the fire had broken out.
It cannot be denied that the robot looks impressive, although it resembles a small tank rather than typical firefighter equipment, and all because it drew inspiration from top online tips solutions of the American army used to defuse improvised bombs in Iraq and Afghanistan. Unfortunately, there are also disadvantages, because one RS3 costs $ 272,000, so buying a few units can ruin the fire department's budget for years.