As the nuclear crisis at Fukushima continues, tonight brings news that Japan has attempted to douse the reactors with water dropped from Japanese Self-Defense Forces CH-47 helicopters. There is deep tragedy in this, because the Soviets attempted much the same during the Chernobyl disaster -- and the pilots died from radiation exposure not long thereafter.
Let's hope Japan also has some robotic firefighting equipment on hand, like the DOK-ING apparatus shown above. (Corporate slogan: "Don't send a man to do a machine's job." Amen.). The company says:
The MVF-5 is unique remote controlled fire fighting system developed to fight fires in hazardous and inaccessible areas. It is designed to help fire-fighters to do their job in the most challenging and dangerous conditions.
The MVF-5 is the third product launched by DOK-ING and was designed based on the development of the previous DOK-ING machines. The system is an example of a highly sophisticated robotic system incorporating the latest fire fighting technologies that enable users to extinguish fires with minimal personnel and vehicle damage. The remote-control system allows the user to remain outside the range of danger during operation.
The system is effective in clearing a path for traditional fire fighting vehicles in difficult terrain.
The standard operating tool mounted in front of the vehicle is a hydraulic arm and blade tool attachment which allows the system to grip and remove obstacles. The MVF-5 has a Ziegler water pump with a range of 55 m and tanks with a capacity of 1800 l of water and 600 l of foam.
The MVF-5 can effectively operate in the following locations:
- Oil refineries and chemical plants
- Chemical storage areas
- Nuclear power stations