Category Archives: Firefighting
(03/27/05) – Flameout takes the Silver medal in firefighting at the 2005 RoboGames
(03/21/04) – Flameout takes the Bronze medal in the firefighting event at the Robolympics!
(10/29/03) – Flameout takes 2nd place at the Seattle Robothon
I built the first version of this fire-fighting robot, by taking Bob’s well designed base for the tabletop challenge, and bolting on a top platform with all the necessary fire-fighting gear. It’s first debut was at the 2003 Seattle Robothon, sponsored by the Seattle Robotics Society. All the additional sensors were a challenge to get debugged in-time for the event.
Bob and I got the hardware all debugged the night before we had to leave for Seattle, and I literally wrote most of the software on the airplane. The first time the robot set its wheels in an actual house, was the morning of the contest. All the software was written by looking at a printout of the map of the house on the airplane, and guessing at what the right thing to do would be. Anyway, amazingly, we took 2nd place in the competition! WOW! It was a-lot of last-minute stress to get everything working properly, but well worth the stress to participate in a fire-fighting competition for the first time.
Here is “FlameOut” looking for the fire at the event. I figured it was either going to put the flame out….or Flame-Out itself. I have to mention that only one robot…the one that got first place actually put the candle out. There was a good-sized crowd of spectators on-hand to see the fire-fighting robots in Seattle.
Both fire-fighting robots uses the same board stack Bob and I developed for the tabletop, with one additional board, specific for reading the fire-fighting sensors. The fire board reads the Hamamatsu flame sensor board, as well as the Eltec Pyroelectric sensor, deals with the servo sweeps, of the pyro is mounted to, and then distills all this info down to a digestible form for the main PIC to process. The motion control code is almost identical to the tabletop challenge, except that there are walls to avoid, and obviously, a flame to try and find. The onboard relay circuitry is hooked up on this robot, so I can power up a fan motor and blow out the flames when the robot finds the fire.
Bob has been dreaming of doing robot fire-fighting for years. He has built a fire-fighting house to practice strategy. Hopefully we can find a place to set it up where the winter weather won’t wreck it, and then we can practice more fire-fighting. After the Seattle Robothon, I pulled the firefighting gear off the robot, in order to re-use the base for the tabletop challenge. I designed a different base for doing cooperative swarm work, that I decided would make an excellent firefighting base. I bolted all the firefighting hardware onto this new base.
This 2nd revision of the base, is what I entered into the firefighting competition at the 2004 Robolympics, where it won the Bronze medal!
I learned many new lessons about how to make a fast, efficient firefighter at the Robolympics. I hope to leave this robot set-up in it’s current configuration so I can just improve upon the software for the next robot firefighting event.
RoboGames 2005 Firefighting Competition:
Here are video clips of many of FlameOut’s first two runs:
|FlameOut – First Run|
|FlameOut – Second Run|
Here I am on the left at the 2005 RoboGames accepting the Silver medal for FlameOut. Yes, the Gold medal was won by another member of the Home Brew Robotics Club, Tony Pratkanis. His robot Solenopsis Invicta, ran the house flawlessly, and with good time. Oh, and did I mention he is 13 years old? He put us all to shame with his well designed firefighter.