Fire starting drones tested in Beatrice

Posted By: Nicole Cousins

ncousins@klkntv.com

Researchers at UNL have developed drones that can ignite controlled fires.

The robots were tested for the first time today in Beatrice.

The aerial fire robots are the first of their kind made to start prescribed burns.

These drones, created by the NIMBUS Laboratory at UNL, are designed to fly above land that needs to be burned.

They carry ping–pong sized balls filled with fire-starting chemicals that ignite after they’re dropped.

This technology focuses on the middle of the prescribed fire zone, which officials say is the most dangerous area for firefighters to ignite.

They’ve been tested inside and on private land, but today was the first time the scientists were able to try the drones on public land.

This prototype is the fourth one the researchers have created.

They expect to adjust and make a few more models before the drone is ready to be implemented.