Two pupils from a rural school in Mpumalanga have designed a fire rescue robot to help extinguish fires. Joseph Mdluli and Trevor Simelane of Mandlesive Secondary School in Daantjie outside Mbombela created the prototype robot using recycled material. They recently won the 2018 HIP2B2 3M Innovation Challenge held in Gauteng.
The two future scientists are fascinated by using technology to solve challenges. They say seeing fire fighters struggling to rescue victims of fire and some being killed in the line of duty prompted them to invent the fire rescue robot. It took the duo over a month to complete the robot. Simelane says the invention has the capability to get inside dangerous burning buildings and search for trapped people while at the same time extinguishing the fire. He says it is eco-friendly.
“For each and every challenge that the robot can face in a fire it has a certain part that can deal with that problem, for instance climbing upstairs instead of wheels it has chains that can rollover those stairs and make it easier to climb those stairs, for some inside it has a smoke pump that can extract the smoke.”
According to Simelane, the robot is able to detect people in the building and extinguish class A to F fires. His partner, Joseph Mdluli says they want their design to be developed and used to save people’s lives. He says they want to impart their knowledge to other learners at the school.
“We would like to see this invention being developed, we are so happy that we have won. What is interesting about it is that the robot is able to detect when the oxygen tank is about to explode and throws it away.”
Mandlesive Secondary School principal Moses Mlombo, has hailed his learners for creating the robot. He says the school will continue to provide support to the learners.
“The background doesn’t count, if they are given equal opportunity they can do their best. Yes the school is in the deep rural area of Kanyamazane and in the periphery at the end of the villages but they have done very well, they have done us very proud and we can see future engineers in them.”
The HIP2B2 Innovation Challenge HIP was founded in 2002 to promote the study of maths, science and technology-related subjects to develop problem-solving skills and analytical thinking. The competition also encourages learners to be entrepreneurial.