The Mumbai Fire Brigade is planning to buy two more fire-fighting robots for the city. The first robot was acquired by it in 2018 at a cost of Rs 92 lakh. The robot can be remotely guided by firefighters to the source of the fire to douse it. It also sends images through a thermal camera which can help understand the situation without entering the site.
“We have a robot which we use across the city, but it takes time to transfer it from one corner to another in the heavy traffic. So the MFB is thinking of buying two more robots which can be stationed in the Western and Eastern suburbs,” said Rajendra Chaudhari, deputy fire officer, Mumbai Fire Brigade. The cost of each robot will be around Rs 1 crore.
When the robot was presented in 2015 in the annual drill of the Mumbai Fire Brigade, it had become the talk of the town. In the 2018-19 budget, the BMC made provisions for it to upgrade the fire brigade. While there is a lot of criticism around the expensive machine, officials think it has an important role to play in fire-fighting. “The robot was very important in the fire-fighting at City Mall, one of the major fire incidents in the city recently. Firefighters have to go inside the structure which can be life-threatening. The robot sent thermal images which helped plan the operation,” said an official.
The body of the robot is made of aluminium which can withstand temperatures up to 700 centigrade. Its thermal camera is capable of detecting fires in the day and night. The robot will help in areas like a ground floor, basement or places with a narrow passage.