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Robot fights wildfires while they're small

Robot fights wildfires while they're small
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In Hong Kong, a new robot built by Insight Robotics, is packed with all the latest technology to detect fires. Last year it won the makers Entrepreneur of the Year at the IBM SmartCamp Global Finals in Las Vegas.

Rex Sham, the founder and chief analyst of Insight Robotics explained: “The robot actually has two cameras, one is the thermal imaging camera, and one is the visible light camera. The thermal imaging camera captures 50 frames of images per second and we use a proprietary and patented algorithm in analyzing the heat signature in the image, and this verifies whether the hot object in the image is a real wildfire or just a hot object that appears in the forest.”

Using thermal imaging sensors and advanced artificial intelligence vision technology, the fire-detecting robot can spot fires as small as two metres by one metre and within a five-kilometre radius, covering up to nearly 80 sq km of forest. The company claims it is the first robot in the world that can do this.

Rex Sham, explained a bit more: “After detecting the fire, we geolocate it using a GIS platform, Geo-Information System, so we can pinpoint the location of the fire on the map, so that the operators or fire fighters can see where the fire is.”

This solution includes the Insight Globe GIS software platform, which alerts frontline command centres and enables them to draft highly efficient firefighting plans based on real-time information.