Fire-fighting robot
The TAF 20 can be operated remotely to fight blazes including bushfires NSW

Firefighters may no longer need to put their lives in danger. A new turbine-aided firefighting robot can do the job better than its human counterparts. From dousing fires at dizzying heights and sweeping away debris to clearing out smoke, the TAF 20, as it is called, can do it all.

The firefighting robot is equipped with a bulldozer blade using which it can clear obstacles such as cars in its way or sweep debris after a fire explosion. With its high-powered fans, it can clear smoke from a building. It can even spray water mist or foam from a distance of 60m (197ft) and blast water from 90m away.

Unveiled by Minister of Emergency Services David Elliott and Fire & Rescue New South Wales (FRNSW) commissioner Greg Mullins, the TAF 20 is being called Australia's first remote-controlled firefighting robot.

"It can be remotely operated up to 500 metres away and sent into situations where it is too dangerous for firefighters, which is a huge advantage as the safety of firefighters is my highest priority," said Mullins.

The TAF 20, on whose development the state government has spent A$310,000 (£14,699), will be based in Alexandria but can be quickly deployed to deal with fire accidents anywhere across New South Wales.

"This puts FRNSW firefighters ahead of the game when it comes to managing hazardous fires and other emergencies where firefighters cannot safely approach the flames, for example when there is a danger of explosion," added Elliott.

"We saw how effective the TAF 20 was last week at a Botany factory fire in Sydney, and it will be of great use for our firefighters in battling other large and complex fires, including bushfires."