Good Thinking

Self-contained firefighting system uses fire itself as an energy source

Serial inventor and renaissance man Eddie Paul is back with another interesting idea. In between resurrecting historic automotive brands, building mechanical sharks and making stunt cars for dozens of movies you've probably seen (the names Grease or Fast and the Furious ring a bell?), he's now turning his hand to firefighting. The Sea-Can is a shipping container full of fire retardant foam, with a spray pump that's activated and powered by the heat of the fire itself. Great idea!Read More


Fire-starting conservation drone lights things up in national park

Mixing drones with fire sure sounds like a dangerous idea, but under close control this unlikely pairing could have a beneficial environmental impact. Researchers at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) have been developing a drone that ignites controlled burns from the air, and the team has now carried out real-world testing of the technology with a view to minimizing risks to conservation crews and avoiding out of control wildfires. Read More

Good Thinking

Scott Sight mask gives firefighters hands-free thermal vision

A fire is no place to be blind, but firefighters face that prospect every time they enter a smoke-filled building. Thermal imagers can improve the odds, but they're too often handheld and bulky, so Scott Safety has come up with the Scott Sight, a lightweight imaging system integrated into a breathing mask to provide individual firefighters with real-time thermal images.Read More


FAROS drone climbs the walls to find fires

Fires in high-rises can be particularly deadly. This is partially because of the buildings' "chimney" effect, along with the fact that it's just plain difficult for firefighters to reach the flames. With that in mind, researchers at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) have created the flying, wall-climbing, fire-resistant FAROS quadcopter. It's designed to ascertain the source of a fire as soon as possible, along with the locations of people trapped within the building. Read More

Around The Home

Automist Smartscan puts a targeted fire-fighting mist jet in the wall

With regular ceiling-mounted sprinkler systems, the whole room gets soaked when fire is detected – even if the flames themselves are just in one part of the room. London-based tech firm Plumis, however, is out to change that. The sprinklers for its Automist Smartscan system are located in the walls, and they only target areas where fire is present. As a result, the system reportedly uses 90 percent less water, causing much less water damage while offering the same fire-fighting performance as ceiling systems.Read More


March of the drones: 10 ideas that moved flying robots forward in 2015

Drones have continued to capture our imagination in remarkable ways throughout 2015. Despite the thick layers of bureaucracy that outlaw commercial use in much of the world, fresh ideas itching to put the technology to use constantly come to the fore. Let's cast our eye over some of the more promising to emerge this year; a diverse list that includes everything from drones that deliver medical supplies to drones that can build bridges all by themselves.Read More


Red Rhino LF5G fire truck douses flames in small city spaces

The term "fire truck" can inspire images of long, boxy trucks painted in bright red, but the worldwide fleet of fire trucks consists of models of many shapes and sizes. One of the latest, the Red Rhino LF5G features a much smaller, more agile design based around an Isuzu D-Max platform. Engineering firm HOPE Technik blends form and function to give this truck the ability to negotiate the tight urban spaces of Singapore in responding to fire and medical emergencies.
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Unmanned helicopter and drone join forces in safer approach to fighting fire

Attacking out of control forest fires from the air with manned helicopters and planes is a technique that has been used for decades, but we are now starting to see what their unmanned cousins have to offer. In a recent demonstration, Lockheed Martin has shown how the unmanned K-MAX helicopter can combine with a quadcopter to battle blazes below. And critically, it did so while keeping Air Traffic Control informed of their every move. Read More


Sensors to detect smouldering cables before they catch alight

They say that where there's smoke there's fire, but when it comes to electrical systems, by the time the smoke is detected, it's often too late. To raise the alarm early, a team of researchers from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology and Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences have developed hybrid sensors that detect gases given off by overheated plastic cables before too much damage can occur.Read More


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