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Firefighters Had Secret Weapon When Notre Dame Caught Fire: A Robot Named 'Colossus'

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Colossus robot with a firefighter outside Notre Dame

The Colossus robot with a firefighter outside Notre Dame Cathedral.

Paris firefighters used a 1,100-pound, tank-like robot to mitigate damage to Notre Dame cathedral and prevent the conflagration from spreading further by entering environments too hazardous for humans. The "Colossus" robot employed a motorized water cannon to spray down the cathedral's stone walls, and extinguish the flames.

Paris Fire Brigade Commander Jean-Claude Gallet credited Colossus with reducing temperatures within the building's glass-filled nave, and saving firefighters' lives.

Colossus manufacturer Shark Robotics said the 2.5-feet-wide by 5.25-feet-long robot can carry 1,200 pounds, and be operated from nearly 1,000 feet away, via joystick.

The battery-powered Colossus is waterproof and fireproof, as well as tolerant of thermal radiation; it also can crawl up stairs, and be outfitted with cameras, sensors, and a smoke-extracting fan.

From The Washington Post
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