‘Guardian Angel’ A.I. Can Guide Firefighters Safely Through Blazing Buildings

Posted: Aug 14 2016, 6:34am CDT | by , Updated: Aug 14 2016, 6:43am CDT, in News | Latest Science News


‘Guardian Angel’ A.I. can Guide Firefighters Safely Through Blazing Buildings
Credits: USAF photo/Tech. Sgt. Rey Ramon

New artificial intelligence system, AUDREY can one day help protect firefighters

Firefighting is inherently one of most dangerous and toughest jobs ever. Firefighters put their lives on the line ever time they work since they rely on their natural instincts to perform rescue operations. Firefighters are unable to prepare themselves well enough for rescue operations because they cannot be sure about the situation inside a blazing building. 

Now, scientists at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory have created an artificial intelligence that can help firefighters to assist in residential and commercial blazes. In fact, they believe new A.I. could be a ‘guardian angel’ for firefighters. 

The artificial intelligence, named AUDREY, can provide an overview of the situation inside a burning building and could help shape fire and rescue operations.

Not only does the A.I. can collect data on temperatures, gases and other danger signals but can guide firefighters safely through the flames. The A.I. is equipped with numerous sensors and devices which keep firefighters connected with the system. AUDREY can track an entire team of firefighters, send relevant signals to individuals and make recommendations on how they could work together.

The sensors attached to firefighters’ clothes can make them aware of any potential hazardous such as presence of dangerous chemicals and gases, temperature levels and whether a room is safe enough to enter or whether it can collapse anytime. 

“When first responders are connected to all these sensors, the AUDREY agent becomes their guardian angel,” said Edward Chow program manager for AUDREY. “Because of all this data the sensor sees, firefighters won’t run into the next room where the floor will collapse.”

Since AUDREY is designed to keep watch from above, it can assess the situation better than those in the field and can actually make predictions about what resources will be needed next. It can assign a more appropriate task to an individual firefighter.

AUDREY was discussed Public Safety Broadband Stakeholder Meeting in June 2016 and is expected to be tested in field demonstrations soon.


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Hira Bashir covers daily affairs around the world.




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