Cleveland firefighters have teamed up with the NASA Glenn Research Center to create a first responder robot called MARSHA or Mobile and Remote Sensing Hazmat Activity.
Lt. Terry Bindernagel of the Cleveland Fire Department and colleague Ronald James have been working with NASA to develop a robot to benefit bomb squads and fire departments as well as HAZMAT teams. MARSHA will be outfitted with a variety of sensors, including a camera and a WiFi connection. Aimed at first responders, the idea behind MARSHA is to be the first one into a burning building instead of a firefighter. That way, the robot can assess the situation instead of a human.
Shown here is the MARSHA network system with MARSHA 1.5. MARSHA 2 also has a large gripper arm capable of lifting up to 30 pounds and can also carry a smaller robot called Busbot that can fit into small spaces.
Hopefully MARSHA will be perfected this year and eventually made available to other municipalities, not just Cleveland.
No word on cost or how much heat MARSHA can withstand, especially with those rubber tank treads, but we think this is an excellent idea.