Robots may help firefighters fight fires

    12:43 PM, Feb 22, 2012   |    comments
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    LAFAYETTE, IN (WLFI) -- A couple of Korean businessmen visit Lafayette to demonstrate how technology could improve fire crews' responses to disasters. And the city may have some new helpers sometime in the future.

    Two Korean companies are hoping to learn from Purdue's expertise in Robotics and digital optics, and were in town today to show off some of their latest technology in firefighting robots.

    Executives from company DRB demonstrated the abilities of their Dongil Field Robot, which uses a hose to spray water, and can be remote-controlled even through the dark, using a thermal imaging camera.

    The robot can withstand temperatures up to 1,400 degrees, and operate continuously for up to an hour and a half. The smaller HOYAROBOT is described as more of an "explorer," sending back video and temperature readings of a building that may be on fire.

    Besides partnering with Purdue, Lafayette Mayor Tony Roswarski says the companies may even consider manufacturing the technology in the Greater Lafayette area.

    Lafayette Mayor Tony Roswarski says, "It might be a little premature to say that, but as you've heard today, they are in the United States. They're looking for opportunities to expand and to grow their markets, and I think with their relationship with Purdue, that makes the Greater Lafayette community, in my mind, an obvious choice. And so we certainly are interested in building those relationships with these companies."

    Roswarski and Lafayette Fire Chief Richard Doyle say they were impressed by the technology on display today.


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