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Robot takes on danger to protect Fire Fighters
Robot Provides Safe Alternative in Potentially Hazardous Conditions

On Thursday, January 4th, The South Portland High School Robotics Team handed over the controls to a brand new hazardous material (HAZMAT), sensor transportation robot to the South Portland Fire Department.

The robot is named H.O.M.E.R. for HAZMAT Observation Mobile Entry Robot, which is exactly what the robot is. This mobile device will allow the Fire Department to drive a small HAZMAT detecting sensor into potentially dangerous areas. HOMER can safely enter areas which previously required a person in a HAZMAT suit, or it can enter small spaces not accessible to people, to assist in detecting hazardous materials.

In the spring of 2006, the South Portland Fire Department asked the Robotics Team to build a piece of equipment that would allow them to place sensors in areas that may be dangerous for a human to go, or places that are too small for people to access. The Robotics Team accepted the challenge with great enthusiasm and in November began the two-month long project. Now in January of 2007, the robot is complete and the team is ready to part with him, and put have him put to good use.

Throughout the process students, teachers, engineers and advisers all worked hand-in-hand to complete this job. A lot of design, brainstorming and labor have gone into this new accomplishment called HOMER, and it has been very rewarding.

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