Press Information

MHI Develops Autonomous "Water Cannon Robot" and
"Hose Extension Robot" for Use in Firefighting
-- Expected to Play Active Role in Hazardous Situations Inaccessible to Firefighting Crews --


・ Open demonstration was held in Tokyo on March 22

・ Autonomous hose - connected robots can maneuver close to the fire scene

・ Water discharge capability: 4,000 liters per minute

Tokyo, March 25, 2019 - Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI) has developed two firefighting robots: the "Water Cannon Robot" and the "Hose Extension Robot." As a team they are expected to play an active role in situations too hazardous for firefighting crews, such as fires at petrochemical plants. The Water Cannon Robot can extinguish and cool fires where human intervention is difficult, while the Hose Extension Robot automatically lays out up to 300m of fire hose to supply water to the Water Cannon Robot. Together, the two robots, when integrated with a "reconnaissance and surveillance robot" (available in aerial and ground models) and a command system, constitute a "Firefighting Robot System." The system is designed for installation on a dedicated transport vehicle that can be brought directly to the location of the fire.

The Firefighting Robot System was developed by MHI through the company's participation in a 5-year project led by Japan's Fire and Disaster Management Agency (FDMA), to respond to energy and industrial infrastructure disasters. On March 22, an open demonstration of the newly developed robots' performance was held at the National Research Institute of Fire and Disaster in Tokyo.

The two models developed by MHI are built on chassis frames modified from small farm buggies that offer strong suspension combined with outstanding road maneuvering. The frames are equipped with GPS and laser sensors that together enable autonomously controllable movement. With the integration of advanced technologies, the robots are able to self-drive directly to the scene of a fire, equipped with an attached firehose.

After arrival at the scene, the Water Cannon Robot is left in position and the Hose Extension Robot moves to the water source - a fire engine, hydrant, etc. - while laying out its hose on the ground, extendable to a length of 300m. The hose is of rigid, heavy (2kg/m) construction, with a 150mm inner diameter (nominal diameter 150A). It is automatically extended and rewound in coordination with the movement of the robot, ensuring proper laying on its intended path, including maneuvers around corners.

The Water Cannon Robot comes with a nozzle for discharging water or foam, with capability to release up to 4,000 liters per minute at a pressure of 1.0MPa.

Going forward, MHI will continue to focus on developing a wide range of robot-related technologies that will make solid contributions to the ongoing advancement of social infrastructures.

■Main Specifications of Water Cannon Robot

Dimensions (outer) Length: 2,170mm, Width: 1,460mm, Height: 2,070mm
Weight 1,600kg
Movement system 4-wheel drive, front-wheel steering
Speed 7.2km/h (2m/sec)
Onboard sensors RTK-GPS, RIDAR, IMU, odometry
Performance Autonomously moves to a designated position on a map
Designed to operate in radiant heat environment of 20kW/m2
Discharge of water and foam (4,000L/min at 1MPa) to extinguish and cool fire

About MHI Group

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) Group is one of the world’s leading industrial groups, spanning energy, smart infrastructure, industrial machinery, aerospace and defense. MHI Group combines cutting-edge technology with deep experience to deliver innovative, integrated solutions that help to realize a carbon neutral world, improve the quality of life and ensure a safer world. For more information, please visit or follow our insights and stories on