Students in instructor David Schlosser's mechanical engineering class pose with the rescue robot they built as part of a collaborative assignment. (Photo by Stacey Carmany, Tusco TV)

NEW PHILADELPHIA (TUSCO TV) - Kent State Tuscarawas engineering students are showing off a tool they built to keep first responders safe in dangerous situations. 

Instructor David Schlosser’s mechanical engineering students recently unveiled their “capstone project” - a robot that seeks out the source of fires in burning buildings. Schlosser says the robot was part of a collaborative assignment the students have been working on all semester.

“The main criteria was they had to design something. They had to deliver everything that they put down that was going to be on this robot, It had to be there at the end, and it had to be done,” he says.

Schlosser says the robot comes with a deployable rope for search and rescue missions and a mount for tear gas or a smoke canister to assist law enforcement during intruder-type situations.

“We could actually send it into a room, create a diversion, which may distract the shooter or somebody,” he says. “Or, we can go on the offensive with him and we could actually find him and pop the tear gas on him and make his life miserable.” 

Engineering Technology Director Paul Dykshoorn says he is always impressed by the ingenuity of their students. 

“It started out being maybe a fire-oriented rescue robot and then they took it up a notch and made it even an armed intruder robot finder, so to speak, and it’s just amazing how they’ve come up with things,” he says.

Junior Zachary Houze says he learned a lot from working on the project. 

“The real world happens. None of your calculations are as they work in ideal worlds, and you’ve just got to overcome it and you come up with solutions that are created that you never would have thought you would have come up with, and then you come out with a project like this, and it’s pretty amazing,” he says.  

Schlosser says they’re hoping to take the robot to Indianapolis next year for the national Fire Department Instructor Conference so it can be viewed by firefighters from around the world.


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