Robots, drones and satellites: NSW to research new bushfire fighting technology
By Tom Rabe
The NSW government will push to establish the state as a world leader in bushfire research eventually marketing new technology overseas, with close to $30 million set aside for the new project in next week’s budget.
The $28 million in state funding will be directed into research and development of bushfire technology over the next four years, including the potential of using robots to aid responders, aggregating satellite imagery to predict fire fronts and drones to assist with escape routes.
The program was set up in response to the NSW Bushfire Inquiry, which recommended the state government establish a bushfire technology fund, modelled in part on the medical devices fund, which was launched in 2013.
The state’s chief scientist and engineer Professor Hugh Durrant-Whyte said the mission would develop the use of real-time data from space, air and ground-based technology and enable the use of robots to help first responders.