Firefighting and challenging environments

Noah Berger/Associated Press

Wildfires are becoming an ever greater threat across the world, and are a particularly relevant threat to the state of California. As part of the Fire Research Group at UC Berkeley, we are interested in the use of robotics (especially aerial robots) to assist in fire fighting.

We exploit our work on safe and reliable flight in challenging environments. For example, the incredible winds and debris present mean that systems operating in the vicinity of fire’s head mean that such vehicles must be able to withstand large disturbances (see e.g. work on enhanced vehicle designs) and survive component failures (see e.g. our work on safety). Moreover, due to limited visibility and sensors, such systems are especially reliant on advanced state estimation.