Providing Lifesaving, Cost-Saving Information 
in Real Time through Rapidly Deployable Mobile Sensor Robots
for Disaster and Emergency Response. 

Here's our current newsletter with the latest company information. 
   Share the news in our August 2021 newsletter. 
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New Fire Department Partner

The Olathe Fire Department is now a Squishy Robotics pilot partner. Squishy Robotics shipped three tensegrity robots in mid-August to the Kansas fire department, which coordinated the robot delivery with the department's delivery of a new DJI Matrice 300 drone for emergency response.

Olathe, with a population of more than 142,000, is the fourth largest city in Kansas. A look at the fire department’s history shows rapid modernization that has responded to the city’s needs and growth. The Olathe Hook & Ladder Company was established by a city ordinance in 1871 and operated with volunteer firefighters until 1950. Fast forward to today: the 144-person Department opened its newest fire station—Station 8—on September 9 and a new $4 million training center for first responders opened earlier this summer.

Pointing out the planning for the drone and tensegrity robots’ interoperability and synergy, Squishy Robotics COO Deniz Dogruer praised the fire departments efforts. “I think that the Olathe Fire Department personnel are forward-thinking professionals that are eager to test and adopt new technologies that can help them work better and improve the safety of their first responders and the public." Dogruer explained that the Squishy Robotics engineers have regular online check-ins with pilot partners, gaining valuable feedback and suggestions. “We receive important insights from our customers on how we can improve our hardware and software so that our product can better serve first responders. We are looking forward to working with and learning from the Olathe team.”

The pilot partnership includes online training with Squishy Robotics engineers and 24/7 maintenance and service call support. The Olathe Fire Department can transition to a discounted purchase agreement at the end of the six-month pilot partnership.
Firefighter teams work to extinguish a flare-up during a prescribe burn.

Sensor Robots Fighting Wildfires 

Squishy Robotics recently participated in a prescribed burn event in Novato, CA that was run by  F.I.R.E. Foundry and a local fire department. The primary purpose of this testing was to understand how Squishy Robotics’ robots might aid in the early detection of an emergent wildfire and was part of a program facilitated by F.I.R.E. Foundry to support the adoption of cutting-edge technologies.

Early detection of wildfires is crucial as such detection can allow first responders to respond sooner, potentially containing a fire while it is still small. However, detecting nascent wildfires is difficult because such fires are geographically smaller than those detectable with traditional, permanently emplaced sensors. Squishy Robotics tested a variety of sensors that might be capable of detecting such small fires when and if the sensors are dropped close to the source of ignition.

Potential use cases of such early detection technology include monitoring malfunctioning power transmission equipment. Such faulty equipment has triggered hundreds of large and deadly wildfires throughout the West during the past decade.

“With drought conditions in nearly all California counties and the current wildfire season made more threatening because of the drier conditions, first responders, electrical utilities, and state agencies are seeking tools that can help them respond earlier, faster, and with greater situational awareness to wildfire emergencies,” said Squishy Robotics COO Deniz Dogruer.
Dogruer and company Lead Mechatronics Engineer Douglas Hutchings worked alongside of fire crews during the two days, deploying and monitoring five robots that were equipped with a large cross-section of sensors. Dogruer and Hutchings collected a total of 23 hours of data that will assist R&D efforts for a future product.

“Our engineering team is now crunching the data that we collected and the insights we attain will help us to further our development work for a 
new wildfire solution,” said Hutchings, adding that the participation in the training exercise was invaluable. “We got to observe our sensor robots perform in a real-life wildfire—that's an opportunity that doesn’t come around every day.” 

Agogino Chosen as Webinar Panelist

Can robots and artificial intelligence (A.I.) help solve big problems like climate change and food insecurity? Register for this September 16 AI for Good webinar and listen to Squishy Robotics’ CEO and Founder Dr. Alice Agogino talk about how these technologies can help humankind reach the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. The 90-minute event begins at 7 a.m. PST.

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