Date: Jun 01, 2021 Source: Company Data (
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It's a hot morning in Longmont, Colorado. Temperatures have been hovering above 100 degrees all week with no rain. Our little lab gets a lot of sun and the A/C units can barely keep up as our team works away on a variety of robotics and IoT projects around solar, traffic, assistive technology and AI development. After a long fire season last year way too close to home -- it's time to act.
At the core of Robauto's mission is the goal to open up access to robotics and artificial intelligence. We want to extend these disruptive technologies to areas of society where they can be useful. Which is how we got into wildfire. I noticed today that the first fire(s) are being reported in Northwest Colorado -- out near Steamboat Springs. This isn't unusual in fact. It's probably just getting started. The local fire departments will partner with state and national agencies to try to battle, contain and extinguish the fires as they pop up.
Last year was a record across the nation for wildfire, where more than 10,000 structures were destroyed and 4.2 million acres burned. The impacts are devastating for years. Fires are a natural part of the ecosystem -- but not these massive, human-formed fires. These are very detrimental to the environment and our way of life.
A forest fire starts a chain reaction of ecological disasters that eventually leads to contaminated water, mudslides, aridity increase, and a range of human and wildlife impacts. As robotics engineers, the fact that robots are not more widely used is troubling and perplexing to us. We see options for use in firefighting, and some great R&D happening -- but there isn't much for real robotic mainstream wildfire solution. Yet this is a pressing issue, and very dangerous (and exhausting) for humans to manage alone.
That is why we're excited to partner with WinterWinds Robotics to deploy their Earthling (TM) AMR robotic platform for wildfire mitigation and control. WinterWinds co-founder Caleb Eastman is a former firefighter, and knows all-too-well the long days and weeks, danger, and frustrating lack of tools and resources to fight large fires.
When he and his co-founder Valerie Eastman are not enjoying Colorado (they moved from a remote home lab near Red Feather Lakes to found WinterWinds in Longmont), they are working on robotics problems for some of the largest companies and government organizations in the world. The WinterWinds team are among the top robotics experts in the world, and Earthling's brain (and core function) is very likely headed for other planets.
In the meantime: We'll be working together to save this one. Through 2022 we'll be refining, iterating and collaborating until Earthling is able to get out there with the crews, provide water, lighting, tactical info and even help dig trenches. The future is here -- and humanity faces enormous challenges -- but also has access to technology that has until now never been feasible.
Stay tuned for more progress and feel free to reach out if you'd like to get involved.