Robots to help SCDF firefighting officers in Singapore

Autonomous motorcycle-riding humanoid robot
Las Vegas, UNITED STATESA MOTOBOT autonomous motorcycle-riding humanoid robot. REUTERS/Steve Marcus Reuter

The Singapore Civil Defense Force (SCDF) has revealed that they have initiated plans to use robots to fight fires and transporting casualties during emergency situations.

The SCDF revealed its plans to employ robots on firefighting missions at the annual work plan seminar on Wednesday. During the seminar, the SCDF suggested embracing a new '3+1' model comprising of three firefighters and one Red Rhino robot instead of the traditional four-member human crew.

Through this move, the SCDF aims to reduce the manpower required to respond emergency fires.

"The SCDF Workplan Seminar 2018 was held today at Singapore University of Technology and Design. The venue was befitting as the event showcased several forward-looking projects that are poised to push the technological boundaries of SCDF's emergency response," posted SCDF on their Facebook post.

The Red Rhino robot, the autonomous machine with spectacular firefighting ability was unveiled by Mr. K . Shanmugam, the Minister of Home Affairs and Law, and the event's guest of honor. The robot will be fitted to the sixth generation Light Fire Attack Vehicle, and it will have an initial firefighting medium of compressed air foam.

During the speech, Shanmugam said that embracing advanced technology is very much necessary for the SCDF to stay ahead of the increasingly challenging operational environment.

Eric Yap, the commissioner of the SCDF, in his speech, talked about the vitality of balancing higher operational needs and limited manning when it comes to firefighting and other emergency actions.

The Life Detection robot capable of helping rescuers to locate living people under shattered debris was also introduced on the event. Both the Red Rhino robot and the Life Detection robots will be trialed by the SCDF in controlled and real-life environments before using them in emergency situations.

During the event, K Shanmugam also launched a new scholarship program for paramedics, and people who get selected in this program will get the privilege to study overseas.