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Inspired by tragedy: Budding Ludhiana engineers come up with fire fighting robot

The firefighting robot is the brainchild of four students of the electrical department and the prototype covers design and construction of a robot that is able to sense and extinguish fire.

punjab Updated: Dec 27, 2017 12:49 IST
Mehak Jain
Mehak Jain
Hindustan Times, Ludhiana
Inspired by tragedy,Ludhiana engineers,fire fighting robot
The students of Guru Nanak Dev Engineering College with the firefighting prototype in Ludhiana. (HT Photo)

The students of mechanics at Guru Nanak Dev Engineering College, Gill Park, have designed a prototype of fire fighting robot, after being “inspired” by the fire at a plastic factory in Suffian Chowk on November 20.

The incident left 16 people dead, including nine firefighters, which simulated the budding mechanics to come up with the idea, and released the robot on Tuesday.

Features of the firefighting robot
  • Construction of bluetooth based intelligent fire extinguisher vehicle system using an android application.
  • Water flow through wireless technology
  • Movement of the robot in all directions

The prototype is the brainchild of four students of seventh semester — Rajat Kumar, Sahil Wassan, Nitin and Sumandeep Singh — of the electrical department. The prototype covers design and construction of a robot that is able to sense and extinguish fire. The robot implements environmental sensing and proportional motor control.

Students said the prototype can function in critical temperature and be put to field tests to help firefighters and not put their lives in danger in extreme cases. They said the operation can be remotely operated and the water from the fire hydrant can be used by having an attachment and valve by the robot.

Rajat Kumar, a student said the robot processes information from its sensors and key hardware elements through a microcontroller. “Once the flame is detected, the robot sounds an alarm or indicates with the help of an LED attached with it, then it actuates an electronic valve releasing sprinkles of water on the flame.”

How it functions

The robot’s designer, Sahil Wassan, said that it has wireless technology for remote operation. “The robotic vehicle is loaded with water tanker and a pump which is controlled over wireless communication to pump water. An 8051 series of microcontroller is used for the desired operation,” he said.

“At the transmitting end using an android application, commands are sent to the receiver to control the movement of the robot. At the receiving end, five permanent magnet DC motors are interfaced to the microcontroller where four of them are used for the movement of the vehicle and the remaining one to position the arm of the robot.” he explained.

The robot will also be capable of throwing water with controlled robotic arms and the object detection using camera on it.

Further, Nitin said, “The Bluetooth trans-receiver acts as a transmitter and receiver with an advantage of adequate transmission range of 30 feet, while the receiver decodes before feeding it to the microcontroller to drive DC motors via motor driver IC.”

“A water tank along with the water pump is mounted on the robot and its operation is carried out from the transmitting end. The whole operation is controlled by 8051 series microcontroller through which, the controller drives the motors. Also, another system is created to have an automatic operation of the pump by interfacing flame sensors with and arduino,” added Nitin.

Their team member Suman said that they spent Rs 2,975 in the project, and the prototype can be enhanced by interfacing it with a wireless camera so that the person controlling it can view its operation on a screen as a future scope or extension of this robot.”

The team’s supervisor, Prof Shivani Abrol, said that the result shows that higher efficiency is indeed achieved using the embedded system. The proposed method is verified to be highly beneficial for the security purpose and industrial purpose, she said.

Dr Arvind Dhingra, professor of GNDEC said that at present, the robot is capable of pumping water with high flow rate only. As for the future scope, the robot will also be capable of throwing water with controlled robotic arms and the object detection using camera on it, he said.

First Published: Dec 27, 2017 12:49 IST