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Robot Fireman: New Life Saver in Hebei
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Some good news for people living in northern China's Hebei Province. A new superhero will come to their rescue during fire breakouts, a robot fireman with camera eyes and infrared transducer.

It is the first robot firefighter ever employed in Hebei, says Li Xinbao, head of the fire control department of the provincial capital Shijiazhuang, according to reports by Hebei Youth Daily on Wednesday.

"Although not big in size, the robot can break into fire sites such as tank storage houses and chemical factories, which are too dangerous for humans." says Li Xinbao.

With a wireless remote control, the automatic fireman can advance at 3.6 kilometers per hour, climb 30-degree slopes, and pass over barriers of 25-centimeter high.

Its major fire extinguishing weapon is a water cannon that stretches 65 meters.

"Besides spraying water forward, the cannon can spray water to areas of 4 meters in diameter," the veteran fireman says.

"The water spray keeps fire and smoke out by forming a cover for firemen when they enter the fire sites."

What make the robot really different from traditional fire engines are the camera eyes and the infrared transducer.

The camera on the robot rotates while transmitting images and sound of the fire sites while other equipments in the eyes detect temperatures, wind directions and components of the smoke.

With the infrared transducer, the super fireman can "feel" the infrared radiation signals emitted by victims in the fire sites.

"The robot is quite helpful in working out a plan to combat the fire," Li notes.

While rescuing others' lives, the robot can also take care of itself. For Example, the sprinklers on its body and tires can squirt water to cool itself down when temperature gets too high.

Reports say that similar fire fighting robots have been put in use across the country. In Hebei, operating and maintenance crews are being trained before making the robot an official part of their fire fighting team.

(CRIENGLISH.com August 9, 2007)

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