Created on 13 Nov 2020

Autonomous Robot Firefighter

Wildfires in the western United States are getting worse. While fire is a natural and essential part of these ecosystems, warming temperatures and drying soils—both tied to human-caused climate change—have contributed to observed increases in wildfire activity. As of Wednesday, October 28, at least 50 large fires were burning in the West, including 18 in California, where dry, windy conditions and record-breaking high temperatures have been fueling flames for weeks. Fires burning in Oregon have destroyed more than 1 million acres in the state. A large part of this is due to the difficulty of containing wildfires once they start. Firefighters must directly risk their lives and equipment to enter danger zones in order to create firebreaks, or gaps in vegetation and combustible materials. We believe an effective way to suppress wildfires is to contain them by having a system that can enter these dangerous areas and stop the fires from crossing highways. Firebot is a prototype of an autonomous system that is intended to drive along a road and intelligently spray water at burning areas, in order to create and preserve fire breaks along existing infrastructure. Firebot is a robot designed to autonomously fight fires using computer vision. It is made of a camera, a water reservoir, a hose and nozzle mounted on a pair of servos that support tilt and pan motions for the hose. We will use a Raspberry Pi to control 2 DC motors that steer the robot. We will use a camera to perform computer vision using color thresholding to detect locations of fire. Then the Raspberry will steer the robot towards the fire and aim the water gun towards the flame. The robot will spray the water until the fire is no longer visible in the camera.


Ryan Stentz


Ishaan Gupta


Rashmi Anil


Tarana Laroia

Part Cost Quantity Total
Project Totals: 0 $0
Track 1 Base Budget: $300.00
Preferred Vendor Budget Bonus: $0.00
Remaining Budget: $300.00
Ishaan Gupta 23 Feb 2021, 11:49 p.m. EST

On the hardware side of the robot, we worked on giving the robot the ability to turn. We initially 3D printed prototype turning mechanisms for the wheels, but they did not work too well. We then switched to large castor wheels for the 2 back wheels with the front 2 wheels controlling turning direction. We also used milling machines to machine L-brackets to size so they didn't get in the way of other parts. Also, we used tap drill to thread rods into the acrylic base to support. On the software side, we connected the raspberry pi to the Arduino over serial so that the Raspberry Pi could determine how the Arudino should control the motors.

Rashmi Anil 16 Feb 2021, 5:18 p.m. EST

We briefly met up today in order to gather our parts and design our robot, We unpackaged all of our parts to check and make sure we had all the necessary materials to build our autonomous fire fighting robot.

Some of the issues we noticed:

- The pump we bought doesn't stop water from flowing through it. That is, we need to design our robot in such a way that the output is higher than the input / reservoir.

- The tube that the pump attaches to is thick and this might make it harder to aim the hose and extinguish the fire.

- The axle on the motor was slightly too thick for the cap

Tarana Laroia 21 Feb 2021, 11:34 p.m. EST
Saturday & Sunday

Assembled water-yeeting mechanism and tested it with relative success. 3D printed brackets to mount motors to robot frame + a funnel to feed water into the reservoir. Worked on code to control the motors and make them move.

Tarana Laroia 19 Feb 2021, 9:49 p.m. EST

Ishaan connected the Rapsberry Pi to wifi and got the camera working. Wrote CV to detect fires.

Ryan 3D iterated on design for nozzle and brackets and 3D printed newer versions. Sealed the nozzle to the water reservoir.

Tarana drilled holes into some old scrap metal to make some L-brackets using the Machine Shop in TechSpark.

Rashmi assembled frame of robot using aforementioned L-brackets.

Tarana Laroia 18 Feb 2021, 8:54 p.m. EST

Rashmi & Ishaan got the Rapsberry Pi set up and working. The camera now runs and is able to detect fires, and communicate with the Arduino over serial.

Tarana worked on getting the motor controllers set up to make the robot move and turn as desired, wiring two motor controllers to the four motors and total and controlling them with an Arduino.

Ryan CADded a nozzle to connect our water reservoir to the hose and brackets to house the motors in the frame.