Firefighting Robot

Okay, so Im trying to get my year 12 students to design a firefighting robot (quite appropriate considering I live in Australia). The students are using BrickPi and the thermal-infrared-sensor to develop a vehicle that can navigate a maze, identify fires and find and rescue a victim.

The question is how can I get the robot to recognise a victim? I was thinking of using a lego ev3 infrared beacon, but is it possible to get the thermal-infrared sensor to recognise an infrared beacon? They could also use a PiCam and vision recognition but this might be beyond the ability of most of my students.

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I don’t know what “temperature” the IR Beacon will register in the thermal sensor - you would need to try that to know.

The thermal sensor will detect human temperature, so how about having a student hold their hand in one room of the maze.

Better though might be having the “victim” be a small bottle of water that was left in a freezer over night. It will be the coldest thing in the maze for several hours of student trials.

Or use plastic coated “ice cubes” that can be frozen. If you keep them in an ice chest with dry ice till needed, they would make a light weight victim that could be grabbed and taken out of the “building”/maze.

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Thanks, i had considered having a cold object as a target. I think you are right this will be the easiest target for my students. The walls of the maze will be room temperature, candles obviously will be lit up and hot, and the victim can be coldbox that will be frozen.

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Will you be able to perform this test and report back?

If the beacon registers, I would guess school admin would much prefer a simulated fire over a real flame.

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If you use the BrickPi3, it can make use of the Temperature/Humidity/Pressure sensor too. You can use that for sensing temperature although it doesn’t react instantaneously. This would need to be tested.
But it can be used to detect fires :slight_smile: We’ve seen heaters being used instead of candles.

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Count me in!

You’ve got my curiosity riz, as they say in the back-country!

Though, absent an IR beacon, (an IR emitting LED wired direct across a 3v lithium cell?), a small tea-light would be my next choice - it gives a real-world “fire” thermal profile.

Cleoqc, I did try the normal temp sensor but has heat diffuses outward, i only detected a 1 degree temperature change from a candle at about 5cm away. So I think the thermal infrared will work better.


Just an update, the infrared thermal camera works really well. A candle from 15cm away was about 50 degrees where as a cold pack registered about -12


Actually I thought this was case, but apparently the thermal infrared sensor shuts down my ev3 motor …

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For the record, solved this problem by running a background thread making continual i2c transactions on the thermal sensor, for reason my motors work when this happens…?? Dont know why? But it works…