ISLAMABAD: Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunications (MoIT) is developing a group of intelligent cooperative firefighting and disaster mitigation mobile robots which can perform critical operations in adverse circumstances and hazardous environments.
The Intelligent Mobile Robots (IMRs) will be able to execute a mission (e.g. object detection in a complex terrain, surveying, trajectory following etc) by incorporating intelligent techniques and robust control algorithms.
In this regard, National ICT Fund, a department of the Ministry has already launched a project called Design and Development of Intelligent Mobile Robots (IMR) for Disaster Mitigation and Firefighting at a cost of Rs. 14.673 million.
The Principal Investigator’s Organization (PIO) for the project is PAF Karachi Institute of Economics and Technology and is expected to be completed by April next year.
Official sources on Wednesday said mobile robots will be developed that can be included as a work force in firefighting department. The IMRs will be built in-house and also be available for local industries, hospitals and offices.
The sources said the mobile robots will be equipped with all modern sensing and communication devices with on-board computational capabilities.
The intelligent mobile robots would have features including detection and extinguishing the fire, intelligent behavior such as object detection, target tracking and collision avoidance, formation movement of a group of robots and autonomous and manual control.
It merits mentioned here that past records indicate a high frequency of disasters of multiple nature and magnitudes as experienced by Pakistani nation. These disasters include industrial fires, terrorism, floods and earthquakes.
The industrial sector of Pakistan is huge and consists of myriad industrial units ranging from cement manufacturing, dying units, steel, glass, paints and many others in which heavy machinery is utilized.
Due to ad-hoc nature of industrial set-up and absence of stringent rules and regulations governing the installation and commissioning of boilers, heaters and many other electro-mechanical equipment, accidents are frequent.
In most of the cases, the accidents no matter what the cause leads to fire. The firefighting departments, in most Pakistani cities are unable to provide immediate support for extinguishing the fire.
Quick and effective rescue operation cannot be guaranteed due to many unavoidable reasons.
Firefighting is a dangerous job which in certain situations may lead to severe casualties of the work force involved. – APP