KAIST researchers have developed a wall-climbing scout drone that can fight fires in high-rises, find the source of the fires, and locate people trapped inside.

Professor Hyun Myung’s research team has developed a scout drone named Fire-proof Aerial RObot System (FAROS), which aims to detect fires in skyscrapers, search the insides of buildings, and transfer data from fire scenes to the ground station. As an extended version of Climbing Aerial RObot System (CAROS) that was created in 2014 by the research team, FAROS can also fly and climb walls.
The FAROS, actuated by a quadrotor system, can easily change its mode from flight to spider, which allows the robot to crawl on walls, and vice versa, facilitating unimpeded navigation in the narrow spaces filled with debris and rubble inside blazing buildings.

The FAROS is fireproof and flame-retardant. As a result of an interdisciplinary work with Professor Dai Gil Lee in Mechanical Engineering Department at KAIST, the drone’s body is covered with aramid fibers to protect its electric and mechanical components from the direct flames. The aramid fiber skin also has an air buffer layer underneath it, and a thermoelectric cooling system based on the Peltier effect to help maintain the air layer within a specific temperature range as can be seen in Figure 1. The FAROS can endure high temperature up to 2,000oC in the intermittent flame for about 20 minutes of operation time.

Figure 1. Left: Exterior view of FAROS covered with aramid fider. Right: Fire-proof test
Figure 1. Left: Exterior view of FAROS covered with aramid fider. Right: Fire-proof test

With its self-localization capability and a thermal-imaging camera to recognize objects or people inside buildings, FAROS can also detect and find the fire-ignition point by employing dedicated image-processing technology. In the near future, FAROS will be able to help fight fires by detecting fires and people trying to escape in the early stage of fire disasters.

Refer to Youtube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U1Zwt6XBIMo

Contact Information:
Myung, Hyun (Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering)
Homepage: http://urobot.kaist.ac.kr
E-mail: hmyung@kaist.ac.kr