Artificial Intelligence

These robo fire-fighters tackle blazes too dangerous for humans

A firefighter runs past a burning tree and wooden packaging material after a fire broke out at a wood store in Ahmedabad, India, March 24, 2019. REUTERS/Amit Dave - RC128C1E4710

Too hot to handle. Image: REUTERS/Amit Dave

Kristin Houser
Our Impact
What's the World Economic Forum doing to accelerate action on Artificial Intelligence?
The Big Picture
Explore and monitor how Artificial Intelligence is affecting economies, industries and global issues
A hand holding a looking glass by a lake
Crowdsource Innovation
Get involved with our crowdsourced digital platform to deliver impact at scale
Stay up to date:

Artificial Intelligence

Dynamic Duo

A pair of firefighting robots are ready for action.

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) recently demonstrated at Tokyo’s National Research Institute of Fire and Disaster a pair of autonomous wheeled robots designed to battle particularly hazardous fires, such as those at petrochemical plants — and without putting the lives of human firefighters at risk.


Hose And Cannon

Once on the scene, MHI’s Water Cannon Robot and Hose Extension Robot use a combination of GPS and laser sensors to drive themselves to a designated location near the fire.

The Hose bot then drives to a fire engine or other water source, laying out a heavy duty firehose extension connected to the Cannon bot along the way.

After the hose is connected to the water source, the Water Cannon Robot douses the flames with water or foam — extinguishing the fire without putting any human firefighters in harm’s way.

Image: Mitsubishi

Team Effort

MHI designed the newly demoed robots to function within a Firefighting Robot System that also features a recon and surveillance robot and a command system. The entire system can fit within a dedicated transport vehicle capable of ferrying the equipment wherever it’s needed.

According to New Atlas, MHI has yet to announce whether the system will actually be put to use, but based on the demo video, it’s easy to see the potential benefits of having the autonomous bots help human firefighters battle dangerous blazes.

Have you read?
Don't miss any update on this topic

Create a free account and access your personalized content collection with our latest publications and analyses.

Sign up for free

License and Republishing

World Economic Forum articles may be republished in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International Public License, and in accordance with our Terms of Use.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author alone and not the World Economic Forum.

World Economic Forum logo
Global Agenda

The Agenda Weekly

A weekly update of the most important issues driving the global agenda

Subscribe today

You can unsubscribe at any time using the link in our emails. For more details, review our privacy policy.

Why there will be plenty of jobs in the future — even with artificial intelligence

Henrik Ekelund

February 26, 2024

About Us



Partners & Members

  • Join Us

Language Editions

Privacy Policy & Terms of Service

© 2024 World Economic Forum