Firefighting robot Colossus helps put out Notre-Dame fire

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COLOSSUS. Shark Robotics' Colossus robot is a modular machine meant for firefighting and other types of dangerous operations. Image from Shark Robotics.

MANILA, Philippines – The Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris, France was severely damaged by a devastating fire that erupted last Monday, but the structure was saved from complete destruction thanks to the heroic efforts of over 400 firefighters – and a robot.

Named Colossus, this 500-kilogram remote-controlled robot was deployed to figuratively and literally do the heavy lifting.

The magnitude of the fire posed numerous challenges for the firefighters.

For one, the only option they had to control the flames were to fight it from inside the building, as former UK firefighter Bob Parkin told BBC.This, however, placed them in danger of the falling debris from the burning roof so Colossus was sent to help.

French technology firm Shark Robotics built the robot to be water and fire-resistant, allowing it to withstand extreme conditions.

It can also carry over 1,200 pounds of payload in and out of hostile environments and its modular design allows it to be configured for different jobs.

Size-wise, it is reportedly about 5.25 feet long, 2.5 feet wide, and less than 2.5 feet tall.

It can be operated by someone from as far as 1,000 feet away using a controller.

During the fire, it was connected with a fire hose and was maneuvered inside the cathedral to douse the flames.

The New York Times reported Tuesday, April 16, that two police officers and one firefighter were injured in the incident, but no one was killed.–

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