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Robotic Fire Extinguisher

Like emergency sprinkler systems, but directed
  [vote for,

Emergency sprinklers in buildings are pretty basic. when the room gets hot enough, the low-melt plug in the sprinklers melt, and water comes out spraying everything without prejudice.

Robotics has come far enough that one can be designed to be fixed from the ceiling and used to single out fires. If only one cubicle is on fire, why ruin all the others right by it.

the robot would have an thermal camera that constantly scans the room. When an alarm is sounded, or when the robot detects a fire, it aims a robotic arm with a hose on it, and directs the water towards the fire. just as security cameras can also be human-controlled, a human controller, maybe the security guard trained for this, can take over this now remote-controlled fire extinguishing robot.

With having the water directed only where you want it to go, the fire will be impeded or handled faster and from a better vantage point than hand held fire extinguishers.

it should also be able to release fire extinguishing gas.

not a robot on wheels. able to be deployed immediately.

twitch, Nov 06 2006


       how about: the water stream would be spread across with an adjustable diameter, averaging with a 6 foot diameter water spray stream.   

       it would be more useful to direct 20 gallons per minute into the fire itself (and a surrounding area) than spray 5 gallons per minute, everywhere.
twitch, Nov 06 2006

       Twich, I enjoy the fact that you have made an attempt to post an idea that has some good possibility to it. If you keep posting ideas that follow this nature you might start to see some +'s going your way.   

       I think of the HB as such: This is not my house, I am a mere guest. I should treat the HB how I would like my own home treated, with respect. Some of the bakers on this site have been here for a long time and have gone past the status of being just a guest, they have become family.   

       People like you and I or other noobs need to respect the fact that we are allowed to "stay" in the HB home. Yes it is fun to get a rise out of people, but not at the cost of ruining something others have worked hard to build.   

       Nobody is perfect, you WILL have good ideas as well as bad ones.
Chefboyrbored, Nov 06 2006

       thx Chefboy. i'm also just happy to see more buns than bones on this one. i've had this one in my head for months.
twitch, Nov 06 2006

       good one, the tech is available but most buildings only want to scrape by the fire safety standards to save money. The only problems i see with this are 1)What if there is a large or multiple fires? 2) if the above, how sophisticated are you willing to get with the software for identifying hazards, etc. I think this is a good idea but there are little flaws.
craziness, Nov 07 2006

       software to be as rudimentary as possible to be robust in an emergency situation. will identify fires, guage their intensity and distance, put the closest fire out first,   

       sprinkler lines have to be installed throughout the whole building so multiple robotic sprinklers can be put at calculated vantage points.   

       cost? compare the cost of an outfit like this, to the cost of lost information on computers and paper when the regular sprinklers soggy up everything. this could be even more catastrophic for a company. depending on the company, thousands of dollars more per day could be saved, considering for a smaller fire, water damage could have actually done more damage than the fire itself.
twitch, Nov 07 2006

       How about fitting it with multiple extinglishants? They could all come up the hose (yes, hose, since it moves) the water comes up, so no extra tanks or hoses. Extinglishants may include:   

       (Someone told me about the downsides for these. Accuracy not guaranteed.)   

       * Dry Chemical Powder - For Small to medium fires. The stuff in most extinglishers today. Use where there are people and lots of non waterproof things are located. Downside: it's corrosive, so blow out insides of electronics after use.   

       * Halon Gas - For small fires. Downside: Bad for environment. I would actually leave this out.   

       * CO2 Gas - For small fires. And it isn't bad for humans...   

       * Water - For big fires. We know what the downsides are here...   

       The advantage here is, depending on the scenario and size of fire, a suitable extinglishant can be used. For instance, in an office building. If the fire is in one cubicle, a dry chemical or CO2 could be used, depending on the size of the fire. That way, non-incinerated paper and electronics aren't destroyed. Usually, though, the Dry Chem makes a mess that is a pain to completely clean up. BIG fires still need water...
wolstech, Nov 07 2006

       <pictures it patrolling non-smoking areas>
Shz, Nov 07 2006

       this would be useful for places unattended at night but where electronics/other still represent a fire hazard. Also, where chemicals are involved that prevent a bystander with a fire extinguisher from attempting, because of fumes.
twitch, Nov 07 2006

       How about a grid of sprinkler outputs on the ceiling, each with a controllable nozzle? Then, the output from each sprinkler is set to be proportional to the heat of the floor underneath it, as measured on an IR image of the whole floor. Be careful to shield that boiling hot cup of tea on your desk...
hippo, Nov 07 2006

       To a certain extent sprinkler systems already do this. Only the sprinkler heads that are exposed to heat/fire actually sprinkle.   

       With regards to the extinguishants:   

       Halon is now a banned substance. In replacement, FM-200 is now used. All humans who have any sort of will to live must be clear of the area before these gasses are triggered.   

       CO2 is still pretty bad for humans (suffocation) but exposure to small amounts will not do lasting damage.   

       Dry powder makes a BIG messs and it would be questionable if you would actually be able to clean some stuff adequately.   

       With regards to water, the fire brigade and many extinguishers now use AFFF (Aqueous Film Forming Foam). Of course, plain water is still used but AFFF is more effective for many types of fires.   

       Looks like my Fire Warden training for work came to some use ;-)
webfishrune, Nov 07 2006

       Some more modern sprinkler systems use finer droplets for a greater cooling and smothering effect for less water delivered. The domestic installations that you can now get tend to follow this method.   

       Foam can be almost as destructive and some forms are very bad for the environment if they run off into local watercourses, aquifers and the drainage system.
oneoffdave, Nov 08 2006

       I vote for: I just want to see the chaos that ensues when the system starts playing up and randomly dousing people in foam, water and various chemical substances
cetacean, Nov 10 2006

       A small office building was engulfed in flames today when the thermal camera attached to the robotic fire suppression system shorted out, igniting the blaze.   

       There were no injuries, but the building was a total loss. Film at 11:00
zigness, Nov 11 2006

       If water and carbon dioxide are both bad for fires,   

       what about extinguishing fires with club soda...
twitch, Nov 11 2006


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