In order to enhance disaster response capabilities and promote the use of disaster-response technology, the City Fire Department of Taipei, Taiwan has recently introduced the use of robotic firefighters.
The LUF60 Fire Fighting Robot can be used to enter dangerous areas, replacing the need for firefighters to perform close-range rescues in high-risk situations. According to the Taipei City Fire Department, this will improve the efficiency of disaster response and reduce the risk of dangers from splashback, explosions, or extreme fire conditions.
The LUF60 is made up of a 140 HP (104 kW) diesel engine, an “atomised water jet,” and a remote controller. It has four main functions: fire water injection; water mist cooling; chemical foam dispersal; and smoke extraction. Its crawler chassis permits precise driving and turning maneuvers, has high stability, and is designed to remove movable obstacles, and overcome stairs and ramps. The atomised water jet can send up to 2,400 liters of water per minute at a distance of over 60 meters, and can reduce the ambient temperature in a short time, move toxic gasses away, change the direction of smoke movement, and broaden the view during the rescuing process. If the use of foam is necessary, the LUF 60 can be switched from water to foam at any time, with a throwing distance of approximately 35 meters. It can also remove obstacles and be controlled remotely with a range of approximately 300 meters in order to enter hazardous areas.
The LUF60 will primarily be used in a region of Taipei City that is home to numerous metal-sheet factories where, if a fire breaks out, it would be challenging to put out because of the heavy fire load.