The Bulldog RS-1 is an all-terrain monster truck that can deliver remote-controlled firefighting and disaster-response robots to a fire or a disaster site. Twin brothers and company owners Michael and Geoffrey Howe -- who themselves have a Discovery program dedicated to their innovative vehicle design -- developed the Bulldog, which they are dubbing the "firefighter of the future." (Source: Howe and Howe Technologies)
@Jack- Apparently the engineers at the University of California's Robotics Lab have heard you and have outfitted their robot with thermal cameras to map-out 3D scenes in rooms that are on fire, giving fire fighters the perfect picture of where to go.
I'm not a firefighter, so this might be totally off the wall, but isn't one of the techniques going after the hot spots. What if a robot like this was equipped with an IR camera and could semi-autonomously address the areas most in need?
MRDON--I agree completely. I have an uncle who retired as a firefighter and it is definitely one of the most dangerous jobs on the planet. Any robotic mechanism or system that can remove some of the danger would be welcomed by them. I can also see systems such as these being very effective combined with SWAT teams and law enforcement teams. The engineering would be well worth the effort. Beth, great post.
If you can make an inventor/engineer's zest to create and develop a robot as "sexy" and cutting edge as chronicling an Olympic athlete's training plan or a rock star's rise to fame, you've scored in terms of exposing our youth to the positives of this profession. Think about what Discovery's Deadliest Catch did for elevating the dangerous and often unglamourous job of king crab fishing in the Bering Straits.
Hey Beth, These robots are pretty cool and the fact their designers are young engineers, is what's needed to motivate the new generation of technologists to pursue careers in engineering and science. Positive representation of young adults, like the Howe Brothers, help kids dream with big with imaginations and create cool machines like these awesome firefighting robots. Agreed, Discovery Channel does a pretty good job illustrating the coolness of engineering with the MythBusters and the Howe brother's robotics TV documentary.
Hi Charles, I agree, these robotic vehicles are awesome. The use of robots to assist in fire fighting is a definite welcome in removing humans from performing dangerous jobs. Design News is a definitely leader in reporting unique and cool robotics applications. Nice work Elizabeth!!
During a teardown of the iPad Air and Microsoft Surface Pro 3 at the Medical Design & Manufacturing Show in Schaumburg, Ill., an engineer showed this "inflammatory" video about the dangers of maliciously mishandling lithium-ion batteries.
Science fiction author Isaac Asimov may have the best rules for effective brainstorming and creativity. His never-before-published essay, "On Creativity," recently made it to the Web pages of MIT Technology Review.
Much has been made over the potentially dangerous flammability of lithium-ion batteries after major companies like Boeing, Sony, and Tesla have grappled with well-publicized battery fires. Researchers at Stanford University may have come up with a solution to this problem with a smart sensor for lithium-ion batteries that provides a warning if the battery is about to overheat or catch fire.
In this new Design News feature, "How it Works," we’re starting off by examining the inner workings of the electronic cigarette. While e-cigarettes seemed like a gimmick just two or three years ago, they’re catching fire -- so to speak. Sales topped $1 billion last year and are set to hit $10 billion by 2017. Cigarette companies are fighting back by buying up e-cigarette manufacturers.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.