When soaring temperatures and a roof on the brink of collapse made it too dangerous for humans to continue battling the Notre Dame blaze on Monday, the Paris Fire Brigade called in a firefighting robot named Colossus — a stunning demonstration of how high-tech robots are helping emergency responders stay safe on the job.
“It was a terrible situation, but it’s really amazing to see them put that robot to work and protect firefighters,” Michael Howe, president of a company that manufactures another type of firefighting robot, told Popular Mechanics, later adding that the tech is “100 percent the future.”
French robotics manufacturer Shark Robotics created the 1,100-pound Colossus robot, which is waterproof, fireproof, and resistant to thermal radiation.
Firefighters can equip the robot with a variety of tools, including the water canon that the French firefighters used to blast the Notre Dame fire with more than 660 gallons of water per minute. It’s operated via a joystick, which can function up to 1,000 feet away from the robot.
Despite Colossus’ advantages over human firefighters, Shark Robotics’ co-founder Cyril Kabbara doesn’t envision the bot ever operating fully autonomously.
“This is a robot that is designed to remove humans from danger,” Kabbara told The Washington Post. “Not to replace (humans) but to act as operational support for firefighters.”
READ MORE: Firefighters had a secret weapon when Notre Dame caught fire: A robot named ‘Colossus’ [The Washington Post]
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