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)
This robot is definitely pretty intimdating and looks like it could get the job done under even the toughest conditions. Interesting that these guys are celebs in their own right--these Discovery Channel shows focused on engineering and science: Myth Busters, Deadliest Warrior, etc. are really doing a lot to promote the "cool" side of engineering and what's possible to the up and coming generation. Rock star robot builders--that's progress.
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!!
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.
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.
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.
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?
One way to keep a Formula One racing team moving at breakneck speed in the pit and at the test facility is to bring CAD drawings of the racing vehicleís parts down to the test facility and even out to the track.
Most of us would just as soon step on a cockroach rather than study it, but thatís just what researchers at UC Berkeley did in the pursuit of building small, nimble robots suitable for disaster-recovery and search-and-rescue missions.
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