China developing drone to assist firefighters in rescues

The China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology is working on a drone that can search for trapped victims in high-rise building fires by quickly flying through

By FireRescue1 Staff

BEIJING — A drone is currently being developed in China in the hopes that it will be able to help firefighters rescue trapped victims in high-rise buildings.

China Daily reported that the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology is designing a drone that can quickly fly into a burning building through windows and doors to locate trapped victims and figure out a rescue route before firefighters arrive.

"For a skyscraper with a height of around 500 meters, it takes about half an hour for firefighters to climb the stairs to the top floor, but the drones take only two minutes," designer Xu Jian said.

The drone, which is made of material commonly used on rockets, will be able to draw a three-dimensional map to help locate obstacles in order to plan a rescue route free of barriers.

Cameras will also be placed on the drone so that it can transmit photos back to firefighters in real time.

Jian said the drones are expected to be put in use by the end of 2018.

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