Swedish robot company Realisator Robotics worked with its production partner Scanfil, to develop a new fire-fighting robot called Fumo. Working in close cooperation with the larger Swedish Rescue Services and the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency (MSB), the new remotely operated device will help to save lives and make fire firefighters and rescue teams more effective during an incident.
A multipurpose search and rescue platform
A key requirement from the rescue services was to have a device that was easy to transport and designed for multipurpose use. The core feature list included: remote operation, remote data gathering, real-time data presentation to the operator, and multiple attachment points for any number of accessories.
As a result, Fumo has a well defined mechanical interface, the rails on top of the robot, where different applications (normally 3rd party products) can easily be mounted. Furthermore there is are well defined electrical interfaces on both sides of Fumo for connecting these accessories. Finally Fumo has a well defined software interface to allow additional software development and connection to third party accessories in the future.
Fumo controls water stream to maintain suppression operations
Fumo is not autonomous, but rather a remote-controlled multifunctional search and support robot. The device is designed to control a fire hose and one of the attachment options is a remotely controlled fire nozzle on top of the vehicle.
Fumo has been tested that with a Force 50 water canon from Unifire and Fumo can pull 100 meters of 76 mm diameter water hose while delivering 2000 l/min of water to a distance of 60 m. More details about the water handling capabilities will be announced after further testing and validation.
The robot is controlled remotely by a wireless, hand-held control joystick. This enables the firefighter to control both the position of Fumo as well as the orientation of the water nozzle and the shape of the water jet.
Sensors such as temperature gauges, gas sensors, cameras and other types of sensors can be mounted on Fumo to record data during fire-fighting operations. This data can also aid fire fighters in their tactical decision making during the incident response. This information can be used to modify the incident response in real-time, or for incident debrief, or for training situations at a later date.
Fumo adds separation between human firefighters and the fire
Fumo can be used to extinguish fires. It can withstand greater temperatures than a human firefighter, for longer periods, enabling it to operate in conditions and situations that might force a human firefighter to retreat.
When combined with human firefighters, Fumo also works as a “force multiplier” as it mans a stationary water suppression location, enabling human fire fighters on site to be assigned to other tactical tasks, like rescuing victims.
Alternatively, Fumo can be used to enter a building to search for victims or get information about the situation, without putting human firefighters at risk.
Scanfil is manufacturing Fumo to meet the market demand
Realisator Robotics is now working with Scanfil to manufacture the robot as the company moves from pilot, into production.
“Fumo is a result of a long development work which started already 11 years ago”, says Realisator Robotics founder and CEO Thomas Eriksson. “To go from an idea to an industrialized product is a tricky path. Especially industrialization is difficult, but we are very satisfied with our cooperation with Scanfil and their way to guide us to a successful result.”
Collaborations with Scanfil started in 2019 when Realisator Robotics approached Scanfil by knowing its ability to industrialize ideas and scale them up into mass production. There is already some competition in the market for fire-fighting search and support robots, but the market today is very immature and shows a lot of potentials.
“Both Scanfil and Realisator Robotics see a lot of potential in this project. There is a global market for these kinds of products which can save human lives and make fire-fighters dangerous and valuable work slightly easier and less dangerous”, states Scanfil Åtvidaberg’s Managing Director Steve Creutz.