UT robotics team designs robot to protect firefighters for national competition

The Paradigm Robotics team, from the University of Texas, has created the Firebot, a robot designed to protect firefighters as they battle fires.

"We are Paradigm Robotics, and we build Firebot. Firebot is the world's first high temperature resistant, obstacle climbing, mobile robot designed to go into burning buildings to search for signs of human life and identify hazards. The name of the game is giving firefighters critical situational awareness so that they can get in and out of a building safely," says UT student Krishan Ram.

Krishan Ram says his team was inspired to create this robot after hearing the tragic news of a firefighter killed in the line of duty.

The US Fire Administration reports 80 firefighter line of duty deaths just last year.

"We really wanted to help mitigate that problem using engineering technology, things that we were interested in. And so, yeah, that's kind of how it started. From there, we built the robot," says Ram.


Ram and his team took that idea, made a model and presented it at the Schulze Entrepreneurship Challenge competition in Minneapolis where they went head-to-head with other teams for the big money prize.

Even though the Paradigm Robotics team didn’t make the final round of five they were able to gain a lot from this experience.

"We have a series of workshops where they'll also get some advice from advisors and mentors, so this really is a wonderful opportunity for them to share their ideas, get a chance to win some money, but also network as well," says Danielle Campeau, associate dean of the Schulze School of Entrepreneurship.