Blaze-Battling Beetlejuice

new-OLE-fire-fighting-beetl.jpgIf giant armoured beetles scuttling around at 20km/hr sounds a bit nightmarish, you'll be glad to know that the above isn't reality - yet. German researchers from the University of Magdeburg-Stendal are developing the OLE, an off-road, fire-fighting robot that will halt blazes before they become infernos.

OLE is supposed to monitor large areas of forest with the help of infrared and biosensors, discover fire sources and immediately report and fight them...Two mechanical feelers help it to move safely across uneven, difficult terrain and reach the danger zone quickly.

The thing's heat-resistant up to 1,300 degrees centigrade and can roll up into a ball and retract its legs when it feels threatened. That's right folks, huge-arse mechanical bugs have feelings too.

[Land of Ideas via Street Tech]