Let's Make Robots!

Mr. "Red" Adair - Firefighting robot

Navigate around via ultrasound. Detects fire and fight against it.

This is my competitor for the LMR DAGU contest. It is named Mr. "Red" Adair, named after the well known firefighter Paul "Red" Adair. An Atmel ATmega328 controller acts as brain together with a Pololu LVDSMC as motor controller. For the blower motor (robbed from a defect hair dryer) a simple logic level N-FET (IRL540N) has been used. The chassis is from a cheap RC car illumninated with red, white and blue LEDs. As power supply 3 AA cells for the drive motors are used. A 9V battery block has been used for the blower motor and the 5V regulated controller supply.


Update 05.07.2009:


Late, but hopefully not two late. The 2. Video shows Mr. Red Adair at his work. Not perfect, but I have no time to make it better. Thanks for all your votes. It was a great pleasure to take part of these contest.  




Arduino compatible controller




The Wii IR camera works fine for detecting a candle light, but not for all distances. Unfortunately when the robot stands directly (5..10cm) before a tea light he is blind and didn't detect the flame. I hope this will be fixed soon.


  • 2 Mr. Basic standard motors for differntial drive
  • 1 DC Motor from a defect hair dryer as Blower motor. Controlled by a logic level N-FET.

The Pololu motor controller needs some extra external components. Without some filter capacitors (100nF and 100µF) and  a pullup resistor on the RESET line the motor controller hangs up when I try to strat the otors turning.


 ToDo List:


  • Improvement of fire detection
  • additional collision detectors


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Thanks for your vote, Gareth.

I didn't knew before that a hair dryer motor can be run with DC. But beware before disassembling your wifes hair dryer, this motor draws 500mA at 9V.  The body shell is also a tribute to Red Adair. He was always wearing a red protection suite.


No offence, but this is more like a fire feeding robot.....it could put out a candle but not a stove.......or a real fire for that matter.......but its a great idea.

Uhh, there's an large annual competition called the Trinity College Fire Fighting Robot contest, attended by robot builders from across the country with robots that "put out candles" as part of the game.

My guess is that "Red" Adair intends to be a competitor, not an actual fire fighter.

oh......that makes sense now.......
Of cause this fire robot can only fight against small fire sources like candles. For a real fire it would be more a fire accelerator. It maybe helpful for the next barbecue party, yumm, yumm ;-).
Its nice but if the fire was bigger it will just make the hole thing worse but its really cool!!

Really nice design RobotFreak!! The racing car give it a very cool touch  ;)

Oh and I specially like the way your pcb's look like. Very well organized  :-)

Thank you guys for your comments and votes. After the deadline of the contest have been moved to the end of the week, it seems that I have another chance to finish this project. At least some more fotos and description will follow, hopefully another video.



Hi RobotFreak, Great work on the Robot.

Top marks, 5 star personal rating from me, however i'm grading my votes for the comp entry to be fair.

I would love to have seen footage of it hunting for burning candles and putting them out! 

well done though. 

comp rating