image credit: The Yomiuri Shimbun
In 2011, the eastern part of Japan was hit with a massive earthquake. It was the most powerful ever recorded in the country and triggered massive tsunami waves that reached heights of up to 133 feet. It also caused large fires, some of which occurred at petrochemical complexes. Because of the high temperatures, firefighters could not reach many of the fires. Officials began to look for a solution.
That solution was in the form of firefighting robots. Called the “Scrum Force”, the new brigade was recently unveiled during a ceremony at the JXTG Nippon Oil & Energy Corp.’s Chiba refinery.
Firefighting Robot “Scrum Force” Features Air and Ground Units
The “Scrum Force” consists of a brigade of four robots. An air surveillance drone takes a look from the air while a ground robot monitors things on land. They communicate with a hose-deploying robot and a bot that shoots a water cannon. The robots work in sync to most efficiently attack the fire.
It took five years and almost 13 million dollars to develop Japan’s new fire fighting system. The “Scrum Force” will be housed at the Yawata station which is part of the Ichihara City Fire Department. Japan’s Fire and Disaster Management Agency eventually plans to deploy the robot firefighters to departments in industrial zones nationwide.
Firefighting Robot Colossus Helped Save Notre Dame
Recently a firefighting robot named Colossus helped fight the blaze at Notre Dame in Paris. While the giant spire and roof did collapse, no human lives were lost. This was in part thanks to Colossus who was able to enter areas that may have caused injury to the human firefighters.