Mitsubishi reveals autonomous firefighting water cannon robot

Engineers with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries have taken the wraps off two newly developed creations: Water Cannon Robot and Hose Extension Robot. The two machines are designed to play an active role in helping extinguish fires that may be too hazardous for human firefighters, including fires that may form at chemical plants. The company conducted an open demonstration of the technology in Tokyo last week.

Mitsubishi's new Water Cannon Robot is exactly what it sounds like: an autonomous machine that features a powerful water cannon for extinguishing large fires. The companion Hose Extension Robot is capable of automatically laying 300 meters of fire hose to supply water for the Water Cannon Robot.

Both the Water Cannon Robot and Hose Extension Robot work together with a reconnaissance and surveillance robot that can be acquired in both ground and aerial varieties for different situations. The machines are joined by a command system, and altogether they comprise the Firefighting Robot System.

According to Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, the Firefighting Robot System was created under a project from Japan's Fire and Disaster Management Agency, which sought a system that could be used specifically for disasters involving industrial and energy infrastructure. Tokyo's National Research Institute of Fire and Disaster conducted an open demonstration of the system on March 22.

A variety of technologies went into the robotic system, including modified chassis frames from 'small farm buggies,' laser sensors, GPS, and, of course, a fire hose. When deployed, the Water Cannon Robot can release 4,000 liters of water very minute at a 1.0MPa pressure.