Robots are about to become a part of our daily lives. The Los Angeles Fire Department becomes the first fire department in the US to deploy a “robotic firefighting vehicle.”
Thermite RS3 is a 3,500-pound robot that is about the size of Smart car. It’s small enough that it can fit through a double set of doors, but, it can also plow or blast its way through a wall. It features a cannon that can discharge 2,500 gallons of water or foam per minute and align itself vertically to function as a sprinkler. It’s operated remotely and can go for 20 hours without refueling. “It may make us rethink some of the ways we tackle fires when it’s available,” the chief of the LAFD said.
The RS3 has already seen action on the field. The fire department moved the robot from a demonstration near Dodger Stadium to fight a fire that engulfed two Fashion District buildings in the city’s downtown core. It worked with more than 130 human firefighters to put out the blaze, helping to clear remains inside the building where the fire broke out.