The Danish startup, Robotto, creators of ai-drone software for wildfire reconnaissance, has received $95,724 from the Danish innovation fund to explore LiDAR technology's ability to aid the software in gathering smoke data.
Smoke remains one of the most important indicators of a wildfire’s behavior. The company’s current software utilizes computer vision and thermal data to provide real-time fire data while in the field. As the software utilizes computer vision and thermal imaging, smoke remains evasive to the hardware. A fire’s smoke indicates where the fire is, and where it is heading, providing fire analysts with insight into the fire’s future behavior.
While the flames of a wildfire leave a visible scar on the face of nature and property, smoke leaves a lasting, yet invisible mark on the lungs of firefighters and the walls of homes nearby, causing issues long after the flames have been extinguished. Wildfire smoke is a “mix of gases and fine particles from burning trees and plants, buildings, and other material” which, when inhaled, presents an elevated risk of developing lunch cancer. (CDC)
Firefighters and communities affected by the wildfire are at “an increased risk for different types of cancer due to the smoke and hazardous chemicals” present during a wildfire. (The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society) In upgrading the software with LiDAR technology, Robotto looks to equip fire captains with the most detailed and accurate fire data, giving them the information they need to get the job done while protecting their team from the dangers of smoke inhalation.
“We look forward to exploring the capabilities of LiDAR technology and believe wholeheartedly that finding a method of providing firefighters with real-time smoke data will help fire departments, not only contain the fire faster but stay safe while they do so.” Co-Founder and CEO Kenneth Richard Geipel.