While some robots can be great fun and put a smile on your face, others clearly have more serious jobs to do.

Take the Thermite RS3 from Textron out of Kansas. This chunky piece of the kit entered service as the first robotic fire engine in the United States this week.

The RS3 is used by the Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD) and is about the size of a small car. He weighs 3,500 pounds.

Cameras on the robot send live video to the remote control as the machine pumps 2,500 gallons of water per minute onto each fire it comes off on. There is a plow on the front that can be used to move items out of the way or to safer locations while a fire is being fought.

The RS3 is transported on a trailer and can travel at a speed of up to 13 km / h after unloading. The video above shows it in action during testing earlier this year.

And the robot has already been put into operation to clear debris in a burning building so LAFD firefighters can move more freely when responding to a call on Tuesday.

"The fire department continues to face new challenges and the LAFD is committed to using technology to improve fire fighting while reducing the risk for firefighters," said the fire department in an article announcing their newest recruit.

“While the RS3 is not the answer to all types of firefighting, it will be used in safe indoor commercial fires, large commercial fires, timber frame structures under construction, structural defense in forest fires, large animal rescue, fuel tanker fires, and automated storage fires help and much more. "

The fire fighting robot will be stationed at Fire Station 3 in downtown Los Angeles as part of the Urban Search and Rescue Task Force.

The RS3 isn't the first robot we've seen used to aid firefighters in their often challenging work.

For example, earlier this year we heard about the Estonian company Milrem Robotics, which was working on the Multiscope Rescue robot that can perform tasks similar to the RS3.

There's also Colossus, built by French tech company Shark Robotics. The rugged robot, equipped with a remote-controlled water cannon and high-resolution multi-purpose camera, made headlines in 2019 after being deployed during the great fire that devastated Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.

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