UA student-designed fire fighting robots — two-wheel Jake (left) and four-wheel
Rock Lobster (right) both incorporate UV Tron sensors that can find a fire by
sensing its ultraviolet photons. Rock Lobster won the Trinity College Fire Fighting
competition in 2010, and Jake placed second at the 2010 RoboGames.
using a 433 MHz transceiver. Using the current design, the
operators use the remote control to send four eight-byte
data packets every 250 ms to the robot. Bytes 1-4 specify
the speed for directional movement.
“Byte 1 specifies forward movement, byte 2 is for
backward motion, byte 3 is for left movement, and byte 4
is for right movement. Byte 5 authenticates the joystick.
Bytes 6 and 7 enable cyclic redundancy checking code,”
explained Dr. Hartley.
University of Akron engineering alumnus Joe Davis with fire
fighting robot “Jake.” This two-wheeled robot can
autonomously locate and extinguish an indoor fire.
employed a UV-tron sensor to detect the flame of the
candle and then thermopiles to find the candle’s exact
location,” commented Dr. Hartley.
Using a microcontroller-actuated VersaValve to turn the
CO2 valve, the robot could put out the fire and turn the
CO2 back off again. Dr. Hartley discussed this robot’s
Jake — fire fighting robot — was implemented with the
capacity to search a mock house for a candle and put the
candle out without human assistance. This competition was
also part of RoboGames 2010. A goal of the competition
included putting out the candle in the shortest time
University of Akron, College of Engineering
“The robot used a PIC24FJ32GA002-E/SP which is
a 16-bit processor for onboard control. The PIC
communications with the Devantech motor
controller used an I2C bus. The EMG30 DC gear
motors have a one degree resolution optical
encoder which was also used for position
command feedback when the robot was in
The University of Akron also produced Rock Lobster —
another fire fighting robot — tasked with putting out a
candle in a mock house. This robot used omni-directional
wheels, limiting the robot’s need to turn and greatly
increasing its speed. This robot also used CO2 to snuff out
the candle’s flame.
CombatBot and the Titanium
Super Heavyweight 340 lb
CombatBot entered the RoboGame’s 60 lb battle
12 SERVO 11.2010