Japanese Introduce a Flying Robot Firefighting Hose

The new, alien-looking prototype uses water to rise above or snake through structures to douse fires.

Image: Tohoku University/National Institute of Technology.
Image: Tohoku University/National Institute of Technology.
By Jake Greenberg / June 6, 2018 5:00 am

There’s a new water-powered robot snake that fights fire, and it could have huge implications for modern firefighting methods, according to IEEE Spectrum.

Researchers from Tohoku University and National Institute of Technology, Hachinohe College debuted the bizarre invention recently at the International Conference on Robotics and Automation in Japan. As you can see in the video below, the hose emits high-pressure streams of water toward the ground to keep it airborne—using the same basic principles for rocket propulsion. Each nozzle on the hose is steerable, giving the entire structure flexibility in moving through structures and around fires.

The hose is in the prototype phase and has a long way to go before it’s deployable in real-life situations. Still, a flying snake hose that can reach serious heights is a promising tool for containing fires without risking the lives of human firefighters.

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