Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 9 April 2020

Abu Dhabi tests jet-powered firefighting robot

The TAF35 by German firm Magirus can be sent into burning oil refineries and tunnel fires

A firefighting robot that can be deployed in areas too dangerous for crews has been tested in Abu Dhabi.

The TAF35 is a turbine on a caterpillar track that blasts water and mist or foam towards fires.

Crews can remotely operate the vehicle from about 300 metres away.

Police and fire crews tested the device recently and will examine the findings, Brig Gen Mohamed Ibrahim Al Amri, deputy head of civil defence, said on Monday.

The device is made by Italian engineering firm EmiControls and German firefighting firm Magirus.

The firms said the robot is adept at tackling blazes in road and metro tunnels, chemical factories and oil refineries and in electrical substations.

"By atomising the water into water mist, the individual drops form a larger water surface and therefore can cool more effectively while extracting heat from the fire," EmiControls said on its website.

"The fine drops also move through the room in an almost gaseous form and can reach places which would not be accessible to an extinguishing jet."

Fire crews in Sydney bought an earlier TAF20 version in 2015 for about AUS$300,000 to tackle bush fires and other emergencies.

In 2017, Dubai Civil Defence unveiled a jetski and attached flyboard boots that could be used to tackle fires on and near water.

Among the benefits was avoiding crews being held up in heavy traffic - though they are not thought to have been widely used since.

Updated: February 17, 2020 07:45 PM

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