Abu Dhabi unveils robot firefighter that can work for 20 hours straight

Remote-controlled device can pump 2,500 gallons of water a minute


Nasreen Abdulla

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Thermite Robot. Photo: Nasreen Abdulla
Thermite Robot. Photo: Nasreen Abdulla

Published: Mon 10 Oct 2022, 5:20 PM

Last updated: Mon 10 Oct 2022, 6:25 PM

A Thermite Robot, which is equivalent to 10 firefighters, has been revealed at Gitex Global by the Abu Dhabi Civil Defense. Armed with a spout that can pump 2,500 gallons of water per minute, the robot will be extremely helpful in dousing fires in high-risk areas.

“The biggest benefit of using this robot is that even if it is destroyed in a fire, we can still replace it,” said a Abu Dhabi Civil Defense spokesperson. “However, if you lose a life, it is irreplaceable.”

Key features:

  • The Thermite Robot has two waterspouts - the larger one can spray water all over an object on fire, while the smaller spout can be used for a more controlled spray.
  • Running on diesel, it can function for 20 hours continuously without the need for a refill.
  • It can be controlled with a remote from a distance of up to 300 meters.
  • A specialised arm in front of the robot can push away obstacles weighing up to 1.5 tonnes.
  • A hook with retractable wire at the back of the robot can pull items weighing up to 4 tonnes out of a fire site.
  • A big exhaust fan at the back of the larger water spout can be used to expel smoke.

“Sometimes, when a car is on fire inside a tunnel, it fills the whole tunnel with smoke,” said the spokesperson. “This robot will be useful in clearing out the tunnel while at the same time extinguishing the fire.”

The robot is also equipped with a temperature sensor, cameras and wheels that allow it to run on rough terrain, including train tracks.

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