It’s been a fantasy for decades, but there is a growing sense that flying machines will actually soon become an integral part of everyday life. One of the most tantalizing uses for drones, robots and unmanned systems is for first responders. There have already been several examples of drones and robots being used by agencies to do their jobs more safety and effectively.
The cover story in the July/August issue of NFPA Journal, “Rise of the Machines,” details the vast potential for these robots and drones to help first responders, as well as the regulatory hurdles that need to be overcome before that can happen. In addition, the article points out many of the other challenges ahead, from developing codes and standards for unmanned systems for safe operation and deployment, to making sure the equipment works safety and effectively, and satisfying the public’s fear that drones will be used to infringe on privacy. As the industry matures, and more and more fire and police departments incorporate drones and robots into everyday operations, it’s becoming clear that NFPA will likely have a big role to play, Ken Willette, NFPA’s Division Manager of Public Fire, said in the article.
“I see this as potentially being a whole new group of standards within NFPA’s library,” he said.
Find out more about what these robots can do; see video of the massive Unmanned Systems 2015 expo hall; read and see video on the recently completed DARPA Robotics challenge; see a video shot from a drone sizing up a fire in Connecticut; read about drones currently deployed; and read “Rise of the Machines” in the latest issue of NFPA Journal, all at nfpa.com/journal.
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