Robot Snakes Just Got Real, Made For Firefighters

There’s a new type of firehose being developed, which will allow firefighters to “pose” it like a snake, and get around obstructions.

By DAVID on June 6, 2018
(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Tech news, sort of. Firefighter tech is advancing just like the rest of the world. Gone are the days of hooking a hose up to a pump, they’ve got robotic snakes now. Ok but seriously, it’s like a posable water hose, but it can navigate around things. Up, over, left, right, etc.

Ok, so it’s not as complex as it sounds. It’s water-powered, conveniently, and relies on the water pressure. It’s a long bit of hose with some water jets on the underside. Those jets are remotely operated, and can be pointed in various directions. Depending on the water pressure, which can also be controlled, the hose can raise or lower itself. Steer those jets in one direction or the other, and you turn left or right. It’s like a firehose hovercraft. Here’s a video:

So it’s still very clearly being developed. It’s a project at a Japanese college, and they’re testing a working model, but it does still need some work. Also, it could use a few extra feet of hose, we think. But the possibilities of this thing are amazing. Picture a forest fire that’s burning hot – we can’t send people in there. Sure we have airplane-tanks that can drop water, but they have to constantly fly back and forth. We send one of these guys in to help. Drive it through and between the trees, get to the fire, and just start attacking it. I can’t wait to see this thing get more advanced. Check out some more info on the “snake” fire hose here.

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